For Millennials, envy of friends who work at companies with cool Silicon Valley-esque perks is understandable. For example, Facebook has laundry services, Airbnb gives employees an annual $2,000 bonus to travel the world, Google provides massage credits, and Evernote offers twice-a-month house cleaning services. That can make traditional company perks, such as health care or a 401(k), sound boring. But there’s one area that employers are starting to explore that’s both pragmatic and worthy of cool-perk envy: Paying off employee student loans.
Earlier this year, the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers announced that the company will offer to help associate-level employees (who make up 45 percent of PwC’s 46,000 U.S. employees) out with their student-loan debt starting mid-2016. PwC will contribute about $100 a month towards an employee’s student-loan principal for up to six years, for a total payout of $7,200. Since paying off loan principal will reduce interest, the company estimates that the benefit is actually worth up to $10,000.
“Student loan debt—driven by the rising cost of higher education—is a pain point for recent graduates,” said Tom Codd, the U.S. Human Capital Leader for PwC, in a press release. “As a firm that recruits more than 11,000 new hires off campus each year, this is an opportunity to differentiate ourselves with a key talent group—millennials—and provide a meaningful way to help reduce their debt.”