The new program, labeled the Freedom 2 Save program, will allow certain employees to receive matched deposits into savings program to match contributions meant to offset student loan debt.
“We see our young professionals coming to us with a problem: Student loan debt payments keep them from setting aside the money they’d like to put in savings for retirement. With every decade you wait to start saving for retirement, the amount you need to save roughly doubles. This plan will give participants savings equal to our company 401(k) match if they are putting at least 2% of their pay toward reducing their student loans. Helping them with this challenge is the right thing to do. Our employees have invested a lot in themselves to earn their way into Abbott, and we don’t want student loans to prevent them from beginning to save when time is on their side. With this program, we’re changing the retirement savings formula.” HR exec VP Steve Fussell said in a press release.
Abbott said that the program will be open to all employees who qualify for its 401(k) program and are contributing at least 2% of their eligible pay towards student loans.
Through the program, employees will receive an amount equivalent to its traditional 5% match deposited into 401(k)s, and will receive the match without having to contribute their own 401(k) contributions.
“I was out-of-state for my biomedical engineering degree, so my student loans are well more than the average. Paying it off is my number one goal. Abbott also has a tuition assistance program that I intend to use when I start graduate school in the fall, but the Freedom 2 Save program will be a huge help in making sure I’m saving for the future, while still aggressively paying off my loans,” Abbott engineer Rariety Monford, who said she plans to use the Freedom 2 Save program, said in a prepared statement.