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Is Debt Driving Your Savings Discussions?

Seems that the headlines are full of concerns about debt, particularly college debt, and the implications for retirement savings – but are you seeing an impact, and how are you responding?

According to a OneAmerica survey, nearly 4 in 10 respondents indicated they are paying toward a student loan for themselves or on behalf of someone else. Of those, an overwhelming 85% of respondents paying toward student loans reported that their obligation to repay the funds are impacting their ability to prepare for retirement. Of that group, 38% said that student loans are having a “significant impact” on their ability to prepare for retirement.

Last year Abbott Laboratories announced a “new” benefit that makes it possible for employees who are paying their student debts to also have at least some accumulating retirement savings as well. That announcement followed receipt of a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service.

And, as 2018 wound to a close, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced legislation that would permit 401(k), 403(b), and SIMPLE retirement plans to make matching contributions to workers as if their student loan payments were salary reduction contributions.

This week, we’d like to know if you’re finding it to be a significant part of your conversation(s) with plan participants and plan sponsors – and, if so – how that is affecting your message.

Reply to this week’s NAPA Net Reader Poll at

And we’ll have it all wrapped up for you on Friday!