As we look to the new year for more opportunities to expand our student loan benefit program, we must review our successes and failures of 2018 to adequately set predictions for the upcoming path around the Sun.
As a company, IonTuition expanded staff over the year to accommodate the growing demand for high-quality financial wellness benefits such as student loan contributions. We’re proud of our new staff members and look to our new leadership to guide us all through the new year.
We began the year by improving our contribution platform, IonPay. Employers and employees can now enjoy a better user experience around managing matching and fixed contributions. We wanted to give employers more control over how they monitor participation to track a return on investment from a student loan contribution program.
Our first report released in 2018 was our Student Loans in the Emerging Workforce survey report. We looked at Generation Z to determine if they expect to face the same student debt issues affecting Millennials, Gen Xers and even Baby Boomers. Generation Z (aka, the iGeneration) seems better prepared for their student debt, but they are still seeking out employers offering student loan benefits. Read the full report to learn more.
IonTuition took home the Gold for the “Best Bank/Finance” website and the Silver for the “Best School/University” website at the Horizon Interactive Awards. Awards like these motivate us to continue to improve our user experience.
We continued that winning streak by receiving the Bronze in the “Financial Services” category at the American Business Awards.
For the third year, we released our Annual Student Loan Survey Report. The demand for student loan benefits continues to rise, with 66% of respondents reporting they would choose student loan contributions over a matching retirement plan.
Speaking of retirement, August also marked the release of an IRS Private Letter Ruling allowing a single employer to tie student loan contributions to retirement plans.
Following the annual survey report, we published our “Standards for Student Loan Benefits Programs” showing that this benefit is continuously evolving and likely to change even more in 2019.
To determine why employees are in so much need of student loan benefits, we release another survey report on “Financial Stress in the Workplace.” Employees at all ages and income levels are struggling to meet their financial obligations and are looking to their employers to provide relief.
In November, we hosted a successful webinar about student loan assistance, educating human resources professionals and benefit brokers about the growing demand for student loan benefits.
In response to the growing number of non-traditional workers, we wrote a white paper on the potential to offer “flexible benefits” to temporary workers. Benefits have always been a way to recruit and retain talent, and the need for quality freelancers, contractors, and consultants can also be fulfilled by offering simple, low-cost benefits.
IonTuition accomplished a lot in 2018 and we plan on doing even more to expand student loan benefits coast-to-coast in 2019. Please subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on all issues surrounding student loan benefits.