Fidelity Investments is launching a new student loan benefit for employers known as the Student Debt Employer Contribution Program. 

Fidelity Investments will be rolling out a new student loan benefit for employers in the fourth quarter of 2017. The new benefit was announced through a press release issued on September 14th.

The benefit being offered by Fidelity is meant to assist employers in paying off their employee’s undergraduate student loans or graduate student loans. The benefit, known as the Student Debt Employer Contribution program, will allow for employers to contribute after-tax payments to an employee’s student loan debt. The program will be administered by Fidelity, who will also fulfill the payments.

The Student Debt Employer Contribution program will initially begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, but the full rollout will occur in the early stages of 2018.

Kevin Barry, the President of Fidelity Workplace Investing, issued the following statement for the press release: "The Student Debt Employer Contribution program addresses a growing need across all generations struggling with student loans, in a 'one-stop' experience for employers."

For employers, the Student Loan Debt Employer Contribution program will be able to be easily administered through their unique Plan Sponsor Webstation dashboard. In the dashboard, employers will be able to easily manage the student loan debt contributions that they make to their employee. In terms of employees, they will be able to monitor the payments through NetBenefits.

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As the student loan debt crisis in the United States continues to worsen, having a student loan repayment benefit has increasingly become a popular option for employers looking to attract the best talent. One company, Gradifi, specializes in offering student loan benefit programs to employers. In late August, The Student Loan Report covered the story regarding Gradifi announcing that 18 more companies have signed on to offer Gradifi’s Student Loan Paydown Plan. Some of the companies that signed on included Alternatives ABA, Inc., Blach Construction, Bellco Credit Union, and ReadCoor Inc.

According to The Student Loan Report, the national student loan debt total is currently at $1.41 trillion. There are 44,179,100 student loan borrowers in the U.S.. On average, a U.S. student loan borrower owes $27,857 in educational debt. 

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