This is our sixth vlog about the changes to retirement plans under the SECURE Act 2.0 which became law in December 2022. You can find all of the other vlogs about other changes on our website.
Today, we will talk about the student loan matching program. This takes effect in 2024. Your employer may offer you a better chance of reducing your student loan balance while saving for retirement. For young employees, deciding between paying your student loans and saving for retirement can be difficult.
This new change allows employers to make a matching contribution to a qualified retirement plan for the employee based on the amount of an employee’s student debt repayments. The purpose is to assist employees who may decide against making retirement plan contributions, thereby missing out on the employer matching contributions, due to needing to prioritize their student loan debt payments. Instead of missing out on their employer matching contributions because of not making contributions, the employer can still provide a matching contribution to match whatever they are paying to their student loans.
This change establishes the provision for employers to view the student loan payments as equivalent to retirement plan contributions (elective deferrals) for the purposes of providing a match. The goal is so that the retirement account funds can still accumulate while the student loan balances are being reduced. It also allows the employee to still be able to prioritize retirement savings
We encourage you to check with your employer to find out if they have a matching program for their retirement plan and if they plan to offer to match student loan payments as well. If they do match, ask what documentation they require for your loan payments to be matched by them once the program becomes available – either in 2024 or later