CEO, Tu­

Employee Benefit News - - Strategy Session -

His in­no­va­tion: Un­der Thomp­son’s lead­er­ship over the past year and a half, Tu­ — the stu­dent debt as­sis­tance plat­form — has added over 100 new em­ploy­ers to its plat­form, help­ing thou­sands of em­ploy­ees pay down mil­lions in stu­dent debt. Tu­ works with a va­ri­ety of em­ploy­ers, from For­tune 500 com­pa­nies such as Live Na­tion, Es­tee Lauder Com­pa­nies and Sta­ples, to pub­lic en­ti­ties such as the city of Mem­phis, the first city in the coun­try to of­fer a stu­dent loan debt re­duc­tion pro­gram for its em­ploy­ees.

Why it mat­ters: The mar­ket for stu­dent loan help is huge: There are around 44 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. with out­stand­ing stu­dent loans. In 2015, grad­u­ates who took out stu­dent loans fin­ished with an av­er­age of $34,000 in debt. Em­ploy­ers are in­creas­ingly adding stu­dent loan re­pay­ment ben­e­fits as a way to not only at­tract and re­tain ta­lent, but also to help ease their fi­nan­cial stress. Although only 4% of em­ploy­ers cur­rently of­fer stu­dent loan re­pay­ment ben­e­fits, ac­cord­ing to the So­ci­ety of Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment, that num­ber is poised to grow quickly. Com­pa­nies like Tu­ make it easy for em­ploy­ers to ad­min­is­ter the ben­e­fits.

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