As companies seek to hire the best talent, they are also seeking to retain that employee

Many employees with student loans postpone saving a portion of their salary for retirement. The reasons are plenty… gotta have that new car, need to make the apartment lease, the beach vacation with friends, or more simply said, they are ‘living.’

Just 39% of adults who are saving for retirement started in their 20s, according to a recent report from Morning Consult (, despite half of the respondents saying that people should start saving during those years. Just over a quarter of Americans began saving in their 30s, 15% in their 40s and 6% in their 50s.

FOCUS4Financial (F4F) has teamed up with Thrive Flexible Matching to offer a new employee student loan repayment benefit to help prevent these workers from falling behind on retirement savings by matching their student-loan repayments with contributions to a 401(k) plan.

The Thrive Flexible Matching student loan debt solution looks to combine an employee’s contribution and employer match from the company’s 401(k) or 403(b) plan, allowing eligible employees to reallocate shares of their retirement planning contributions and company match towards their student loan debt, according to F4F. Once adopted, workers can control how their retirement funds and company match are allocated, either exclusively towards their retirement savings or student loan debt, or a combination of both (

Student Loan Flexible Matching is a Differentiator for Talent Recruiters

As companies seek to hire the best talent, they are also seeking to retain that employee for some time. The annual average turnover rate (2019) in the U.S. is 44.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rate has increased steadily since 2014 when it was just 40.3%.

Company culture, work-life balance, telecommuting — all good benefits and reasons why many make the switch to a new position or company. Now, add in a corporate 401K plan with a matching student debt benefit, and you are offering a true differentiation while recognizing the escalating student debt problem.

More than 45 million student loan borrowers owe student debt (
Collectively, student debt is over $1.5 trillion and this debt surpasses all types of household debt other than mortgages (

Help Your Participants Thrive

Thrive allows employees to use company match funds for student loan repayment, helping employees pay down their debt from education loans without increasing their benefits budget.

  • Empower employees to manage match funds to best fit their financial goals
  • Funds can be directed to student loans, retirement savings, or a combination of both
  • Compatible with all 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans
  • Companies can offer student loan repayment without a significant increase in their benefits allocation
  • Implementation is simple and requires no changes to your retirement plan benefits

If you would like to receive a copy of our most recent Thrive Flexible Matching webinar for employers, please simply request the information on our Contact Us page.


This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors but is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. Each plan has unique requirements, and you should consult your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation. Thrive Flexible Matching and FOCUS4Financial are separate, non-affiliated entities.