Student Loan Debt: Boosting Financial Wellness with Employer Matching

Part of a series  |  SECURE 2.0 Act Insights

Black couple celebrating financial success at laptop

Financial wellness matters to today's employees. With student loan payments returning after a long hiatus, organizations may consider offering a benefits option that helps employees pay off their student loan debt.

For most borrowers, student loan payments have been on hold since March 2020. But after a 43-month hiatus, student loan payments are back — and employers may soon be able to assist their educated workers.

Student loan debt in the U.S. totals a whopping $1.7 trillion for more than 45 million Americans. This debt is making it difficult for hard-working borrowers to make ends meet. Younger workers especially struggle to choose between repaying student loans or saving for retirement, while delaying major life events like purchasing a home, getting married or starting a family.

But there is some good news for your employees. The SECURE 2.0 Act's Student Loan Match provision allows employers to assist with student debt repayment by making matching contributions to retirement plans based on employees' qualified student loan payments.

Adding an employer matching student loan program to your existing retirement plan or creating a new plan with this benefit will provide your employees with the ability to pay down student loan while still building a nest egg for retirement. This will help you attract and retain valuable employee and provide them with more peace of mind.

Crunching the numbers

According to Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers, the pause on student loan repayments afforded millions of borrowers more than $260 billion in waived payments.

With the newly added stress of paying back Uncle Sam, employees' personal financial situations are affecting their job performance, their engagement and their ability to save for a comfortable retirement. A worker's outstanding debt also influences whether they'll stay with their current employer or search for a new job.

A recent study by the ADP Research Institute reports that about half of workers are in the process of leaving their workplace. Among workers with student loan debt, that number increases to nearly 60%. These employees are looking to you to help them make financial decisions with confidence.

Helping borrowers save for retirement

Retaining loyal, productive workers is more important than ever. Comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan with a student loan matching option, can help foster a happier, more engaged and retirement-ready workforce.

Let's talk about student loans

Navigating the various student loan programs can be frustrating and challenging. Learn how a student loan matching program can be a valuable addition to any benefits package, helping employees pay down student debt, strengthening engagement, boosting retention and fostering a workplace that truly supports employee financial wellness.

ADP Retirement Services is launching a student loan payback option soon. To learn more about student loan benefits, connect with an ADP retirement specialist by calling 1-800-432-401K or reaching us at

ADP, Inc., and its affiliates do not offer investment, tax, or legal advice to individuals. Nothing contained in this article is intended to be, nor should be construed as, particularized advice or a recommendation or suggestion that you take or not take a particular action. Questions about how laws, regulations, guidance, your plan's provisions, or services available to participants may apply to you should be directed to your plan administrator or legal, tax or financial advisor. M-496492-2024-02-08