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Expect the Unexpected When Implementing Student Loan Repayment Benefits

HR professionals know that launching a new employee benefit doesn't happen by magic. Here's what to expect when implementing student loan benefits.

Molly has worked in Human Resources for 15 years. In that time, she’s seen an influx of new and unusual employee benefits. She’s grown comfortable using a variety of software and has accepted that a more diverse workforce with more diverse needs is only making her job more challenging.

Just in the last few years with her company, she’s had to combine all employee sick time and vacation time into PTO, set up nursing pods for new mothers to use when pumping breastmilk, figure out the exact rules for “bring your dog to work days,” and learn two entirely new HCM portals.

Molly alone logs into 12 different tools each day to do her job. These systems include payroll software, training management, recruiting websites, and a number of voluntary benefits platforms. When her company decided to offer student loan assistance, Molly was made the point of contact to work with the student loan benefit vendor for implementation.

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Expect Implementation to Be Fast and Easy

Molly received a demo of the student loan benefit on the kickoff call and was actually very excited to be a part of implementing this new perk at her company. She cosigned on a student loan for her daughter and was eager to manage her and her daughter’s repayment.

Molly worked closely with the vendor to define the parameters for the benefit, set up single sign-on for her staff, and establish rules for employee communication. Amazingly, Molly was able to implement the entire program with only three meetings: a kickoff call, technical/testing meeting, and launch meeting.

Expect Useful Marketing Materials for Your Employees

Molly learned from experience that employees most in need of a new benefit are usually the last to know when that benefit is implemented. To ensure prompt insight to the new benefit, the vendor provided copy for their employee portal, news-letters, emails, and the company’s website. Molly was happy to have assistance creating copy for her department’s communications.

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Expect the Benefit to Apply to Employees without Student Debt

Molly wasn’t expecting the benefit to be of much use to employees without student loan debt and was pleasantly surprised that the benefit included free family accounts and college planning tools. Therefore, Molly had to get creative with her HR communications to make sure employees with spouses and/or college bound children were made aware of their new perk.

Molly worked with the vendor to write small blurbs to go into all of the HR’s communications explaining what their company’s student loan benefit is and promoting how easy it is to use. She planned her messaging carefully, targeting employees with loans one month and targeting employees without loans the next.

Expect the Benefit to Be Easy to Manage

Molly doesn’t have time to babysit a student loan benefit platform every day. Fortunately, the extent of her management, beyond employee communications, is taking no more than 10 minutes each month to update the employee eligibility file.

Expect To Entice New Recruits with Student Loan Benefits

Each graduating college class has more student debt than the class the year before. Molly loves mentioning that her company offers a student loan benefit in her phone screenings of new recruits, and she has landed more interviews as a result.

Expect Better Productivity from Employees

A year after launching the student loan benefit, Molly’s department noticed an average decrease of 1 hour of PTO taken across all employees and contributed that decrease to their new financial wellness benefit.

Expect the Best when You Partner with the Best

IonTuition is the industry leader in student loan benefits, managing nearly $6 billion in student loans. No other company offers a better range of tools for the price. To find out more, contact IonTuition at benefits@iontuition.com today.