Unum is offering a new benefit to help its employees tackle student debt. Starting next year, the company’s U.S. employees can transfer carry-over paid time off (PTO) into a payment against student debt through the Student Debt Relief Program, managed by financial services provider Fidelity Investments.
“Many people face the challenge of balancing student debt with planning for their financial futures,” said Carl Gagnon, assistant vice president of Global Financial Wellbeing and Retirement Programs at Unum. “This first-of-its-kind Student Debt Relief Program, along with a range of other financial benefits and resources, provides Unum employees more tools to reduce financial stress and improve overall wellbeing.”
Student debt now tops an estimated $1.5 trillion in the U.S. Monthly student loan payments can leave employees struggling to contribute to other important savings goals and benefits, such as 401(k) retirement accounts. This innovative solution gives U.S. employees a choice to use their benefits in ways that work best for them. The option is available to any U.S. employee who has student debt, including parents who have taken out educational loans for their children.
“We applaud Unum for working to offer their employees a new way to get a handle on student debt,” said Ashwini Srikantiah, vice president, Student Debt Program at Fidelity Investments. “Finding creative solutions for people to tackle this challenging issue is one way many companies are partnering with Fidelity to provide more help when it comes to their employees’ financial wellness. It’s great to see Unum take the lead as an innovator.”
Beginning in their first year at Unum, full-time employees receive 28 days of paid time off, including holidays and personal days, with additional PTO available over time. Each year, employees can carry over up to five days (40 hours) of unused paid time. In January 2020, those who are interested in the Student Debt Relief Program will be able to transfer up to 40 hours of carry-over PTO into a payment against student debt.
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