Shrinking Student Loan Debt: MassMutual Introduces Student Loan Repayment and Management Programs for the Workplace
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 15, 2019--
As student loan debt reaches epidemic proportions, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) is introducing a new student loan repayment and management program for the workplace as part of a broader financial wellness initiative.
MassMutual is making a student loan program available to employers through Tuition.io, the leading platform for student loan contributions, to help workers better manage and reduce their indebtedness. The student loan program is available through MapMyFinances, MassMutual’s new workplace financial and benefits planning tool, to help workers assess and balance their short- and long-term financial needs.
“More than 40 million Americans are burdened by a total of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt 1, which amounts to an average of $37,000 in outstanding indebtedness per worker upon graduation 2,” said Tina Wilson, Head of MassMutual’s Investment Solutions Innovation. “Carrying such a heavy debt burden makes it difficult for many people to address other financial needs, particularly saving for retirement.”
“Companies that want to attract the newer generations of workers should consider that 51 percent of young employees said help with student loan repayments would be their most important benefit 3,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io. “A student loan benefit can also encourage employees to stay at the company longer, and build stronger company loyalty.”
The Tuition.io program provides two levels of support for student loan indebtedness, both of which help borrowers better manage their student debt, including one that allows employers to provide financial assistance to extinguish debts.
The student loan repayment option available through Tuition.io is called “Student Loan Contributions” and allows employers to make payments towards an employee’s student loan indebtedness. Some employers elect to provide student loan repayment assistance to employees with the goal of enhancing their employees’ overall financial wellness and freeing up money for longer-term financial goals such as saving for retirement, according to Thompson. Employers can also choose to make payments towards student loans that parents have taken out for their children, known as Parent PLUS loans.
Additionally the Tuition.io student loan wellness section of the portal helps borrowers manage their debt by creating a consolidated summary of all student loans for each participating employee by pulling in data from multiple loans and loan servicers. The Tuition.io platform works with every US loan servicer – including both federal and privately held loans -- to generate automatic real-time updates whenever loan payments are made.
With all loan data available in one place, employees can more easily model different loan repayment options as well as determine if paying extra to certain loan providers can potentially save on the amount of interest paid in the long run. Employees can also more easily assess whether refinancing makes sense for their personal situation. The student loan wellness section of the portal can be made available to eligible employees’ family members as well to provide the same loan management tools and capabilities.
Once the Student Loan solution has been elected by an employer and implemented through Tuition.io, MassMutual integrates the program as part of its MapMyFinances financial wellness tool. Employees can use the tool to add student debt repayment to their financial “To Do” list and use an actionable link to Tuition.io’s employee online experience, leveraging single sign-on from MapMyFinances.
The student loan program has a cost associated with it. Tuition.io helps employers project both the program and loan repayment potential costs, and weigh them against the projected benefits.
“The thousands of dollars in student loans that many Americans shoulder is proving to be a real barrier to financial wellness, both in the short and long term,” Wilson said. “MassMutual is introducing Tuition.io to workplace customers as part of our overall mission to enhance the financial wellness of all Americans.”
Tuition.io is the nation’s leading employee benefit platform empowering employers to better attract, retain and engage their next generation of talent who are saddled with stifling student debt, by helping their employees reduce and better manage their student loan burden. Tuition.io works with companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies such as Live Nation, Staples and Estée Lauder Companies, to healthcare companies including Children’s Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha and Mosaic Life Care, as well as public entities such as the City of Memphis. Tuition.io is on a mission to provide an impactful solution for employers and employees across the country. For more information, visit www.tuition.io or follow us at @Tuitionio.
MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.
1 2018, Student Loan Debt Statistics in 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis, https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2018/06/13/student-loan-debt-statistics-2018/#153e84c57310
2 2017, Population Distribution by Age, https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/distribution-by-age/
(US Population in relation estimate of number of people between 22 and 65 in relation to the 44 million figure above)
3 2017, American Student Assistance Study, https://d9jmqzwnxk1s1.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/14141823/asa_young_worker_and_student_debt_survey_report-1.pdf
Tuition.io is not intended to be part of an employee benefit plan covered by ERISA and is not related to the employer’s retirement plan. Tuition.io is a separate benefit for an employer to implement that can be integrated into MassMutual’s Financial Wellness experience. Student loan “contributions” represent additional loan payments made from the employer to the employee’s loan provider, and in no way relate to contributions to a retirement plan.
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CONTACT: David Potter
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MASSACHUSETTS
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OTHER EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE HUMAN RESOURCES INSURANCE
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PUB: 05/15/2019 11:00 AM/DISC: 05/15/2019 11:01 AM