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Big Increase In Repayment Of Student Loans For Federal Employees

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Federal agencies paid more than $51 million in student loan repayment benefits last year, according to a report released by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The payments came from 35 federal agencies and went to 6,879 federal employees.

According to OPM, this represents a 4 percent increase in the number of employees receiving student loan repayment benefits in the prior year, and a 22 percent increase in agencies' overall financial investment in this incentive.

Nearly half of the reporting agencies either made student loan repayments in 2008 or have established a student loan repayment program for future use. The average loan repayment benefit was $7,511, the report states.

The federal student loan repayment program permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current employees of the agency. The program implements 5 U.S.C. 5379, which authorizes agencies to set up their own student loan repayment programs to attract or retain highly qualified employees.

Although the student loan is not forgiven, agencies may make payments to the loan holder of up to a maximum of $10,000 for an employee in a calendar year and a total of not more than $60,000 for any one employee.

President Barack Obama has highlighted the importance of recruitment and retention tools and has asked each federal agency to do its part to ensure "this government is as efficient as possible and that every taxpayer dollar that is spent is being spent wisely."

More information about student loan repayment program and OPM's 2008 report can be found at:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Posted with Permission from: MyFederalRetirement.com



Big Increase In Repayment Of Student Loans For Federal Employees
« Previous Article Viewed 542 Times Next Article »