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Empowering Financial Wellness: How Vestwell's Student Loan Benefits Close the Savings Gap

I am incredibly proud to share that Vestwell now offers student loan benefits through the workplace.

At an early age, I gravitated toward finance, with a keen interest in mathematics and economic markets. My dad was a carpenter, and each night, when he got home, we’d sit around the dinner table to discuss the stock market as a family. I later earned my B.S. in finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and my M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Like most Americans, I was responsible for funding my education and took out student loans. Back then, having my employer support for these loans was unimaginable. However, it would have made such a significant difference in my life.  So, starting today, I am excited to have Vestwell expand our mission, taking on the challenge of reducing the college debt of employees.

Earlier this year, we announced our intent to acquire Gradifi from our partner, Morgan Stanley at Work, and have officially closed the transaction. The acquisition has accelerated our roadmap of offering innovative products to help realize our mission of closing the savings gap. Our benefit solutions now include programs to help employees manage and pay down student debt and contribute to education savings accounts.

Over 40 million Americans carry a collective burden of $1.78T in student loan debt, and employees increasingly look to their employers for support. Nearly half of employees surveyed by SHRM consider student loan repayment assistance the most important workplace benefit. However, only 17% of employers offer this benefit to their employees.

And, after a three-year pause from the pandemic, student loan payments have recently resumed.  There is an excellent opportunity for the entire savings industry – financial services firms, financial advisors, payroll companies, and business owners – to reevaluate and implement financial wellness benefits that enhance their employees' and customers' lives.

Fortunately, recent legislation as part of SECURE 2.0 includes the ability for employers to offer a workplace retirement plan match for student loan contributions. Through this provision, employees no longer have to miss out on retirement savings because they are paying down student loans. Starting in 2024, SECURE 2.0 will enable employees to build their retirement savings while making student loan payments simultaneously.

Vestwell has grown significantly over the past few years. We now power over fifty thousand businesses of all sizes, from small coffee shops to Fortune 100 companies. We are committed to offering the best workplace benefit solutions available and are thrilled to now provide financial literacy solutions and student loan repayment programs on our platform. Today’s news brings us closer to powering all workplace savings programs on a single platform and closing the American savings gap.

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