Benefits and Compensation

Travelers Offers Student Loan Repayment, 401(k) Match

By the year 2025, it’s estimated that Millennials will make up roughly 75% of the American workforce. This means that HR professionals, business owners, hiring managers, and anyone else involved in the recruitment process needs to have a solid understanding of this demographic if they hope to compete in the market.


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After all, it is employees who are truly the most valuable assets in the vast majority of companies. Being able to attract and retain top talent is a massive differentiator.

Travelers Tackles a Key Millennial Concern

The Travelers Companies, Inc., (Travelers) recently demonstrated some recruitment savvy in this regard by addressing one of the key concerns and sources of anxiety in the minds of Millennials: student debt.

The amount of student loan debt in the United States is staggering. According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. student loan debt reached $1.5 trillion—yes with a “T”—at the end of 2018. Many people saddled with student loans are forced to make career decisions influenced by how those choices will impact their ability to pay off that debt.

Travelers recently announced an innovative new benefit for its employees that takes the tough choice out of paying down student debt or saving for retirement.

“With The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program, payments by eligible U.S. employees toward their student loans will qualify for the company’s 401(k) Plan ‘matching’ program,” says a press release announcing the new benefits.

Making Benefits Meaningful

Understanding different generations is about more than just knowing what they’re like in the workplace—how they view management, their work/life balance preferences, etc. It’s also about understanding what makes them tick from a holistic standpoint.

In the case of Millennials, one thing many of them have in common is concern over student debt payments. If a company like Travelers can make them feel like those concerns are being addressed, at least in part, simply by working for Travelers, that company is going to have a leg up in recruiting this huge portion of the workforce.

What implications might employee demographics at your organization have in terms of helping to create benefit plan packages that most resonate with employees?

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