SECURE 2.0 Act Now Helps Lighten the Burden of Student Loans

Employers can attract talented employees with a new benefit: a matching contribution to an employee's 401(k) when they make payments on their student debt.

A young man relaxes in a chair, surrounded by moving boxes.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Across the country, employers are competing fiercely for talent. According to recent data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, more than 34 million workers quit their jobs in 2023. Young people, in particular, are switching companies — or careers — if it means a higher paycheck or better hours.

Employers worried about recruiting and retaining employees have a new tool at their disposal, thanks to a federal law that went into effect at the start of the year. As of January 1, the SECURE 2.0 Act permits employers to "match" any payments their employees make toward their student loan balances with tax-advantaged contributions to their retirement accounts.

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Mary K. Moreland
Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Abbott

Mary Moreland is Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Abbott. Prior to assuming this role in August 2019, she served as Divisional Vice President, Compensation and Benefits. She joined Abbott in 2011 as Divisional Vice President, Global Retirement Programs and Human Resources Mergers and Acquisitions. Mary advocates on behalf of Abbott employees around the world — from those on the manufacturing lines to scientists working on the company’s breakthrough inventions.