Great-West Life announces pilot program aimed at helping workers save while dealing with student loan debt

By The IJ Staff | October 24 2017 11:30AM

Photo: Freepik

Great-West Life has announced that it is piloting a voluntary retirement and savings program with select employers and their eligible employees to help workers manage their student loan debt while saving. In this program, as plan members pay down their student loans, they receive an employer-matched contribution to their group retirement and savings plan.

In an Oct. 24 announcement, Great-West Life cited a 2015 survey which found that Canadians enter the workforce with an average of nearly $27,000 in student loan debt. This level of debt would typically take 10 years to repay. This means that many workers delay saving for traditional life goals like home ownership, starting a family or retirement. The Great-West pilot program “allows members to save for their futures while they focus on paying down their student loan debt,” says the company.

Makes saving achievable

"This program is the result of our ongoing discussions with Canadians about their financial realities," says Jeff Macoun, Executive Vice-President, Group Customer, Great-West Life. "The approach is simple and responds to the need for increased plan flexibility. More importantly, it makes saving achievable and relevant for those managing student debt loan repayments."

The pilot is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2018 and will continue to evolve based on client feedback and results, says Great-West Life. 

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