Discussing H.R. 795 — Rep. Rodney Davis and Scott Thompson at EBN’s Benefits Forum and Expo
This week, the Tuition.io team was in full force at EBN’ s 17th annual Benefits Forum and Expo in Boca Raton, Florida. One of the largest benefits conferences in the industry, the gathering hosts over 700 professionals to discuss best practices, share innovative ideas and get ahead of trends.
This year, our CEO Scott Thompson did the closing keynote session with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill), author of H.R. 795, The Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act. H.R. 795 extends the tax exclusion for employer-provided education assistance to include payments of qualified education loans. The bill has strong bipartisan support, with over 100 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, and is now in front of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Scott and Rep. Davis discussed how employer provided student loan debt assistance is already taking hold as one of the newest and most favored benefits for today’s young workers. Companies ranging from Fortune 500 entities such as Live Nation and Staples to global HR firm Mercer, to cities like Memphis, TN have all embraced student loan assistance as a way to attract and retain today’s professionals.
It’s agreed that adding tax relief to the equation could help elevate student loan assistance alongside 401(k) contribution as one of the most valuable financial benefits a company can offer. Data shows that for Millennial workers, paying off their student loans is the single highest priority issue in their personal financial lives.
In addition, there was a consensus that among all the potential areas of tax reform currently being considered in Washington, this is a tax break that can have an outsized impact on the economy as a whole. By incentivizing corporations to help workers retire their debt faster, this form of tax relief will free up more money for consumption for the over 44 million adults who currently have student loans. Once free of student loans, these workers will be more able to purchase cars, homes, and the other big-ticket items which make up the bulk of consumer spending.
The take away from the session was that student loan assistance is a benefit that is improving employees lives right now – and that with the passing of legislation such as H.R. 795, it can have a positive impact on society as a whole.