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Great-West Life introduces pilot program in its group benefits business

By Megan Harman |

 

Winnipeg-based Great-West Life Assurance Co. (GWL) is launching a new pilot project in its group benefits business that will help members pay down student debt, the company announced on Tuesday.

The program will enable participating members to receive an employer-matched contribution to their group retirement and savings plan when they make payments towards their government student loans.

The goal is to enable plan members to save for their future while they focus on paying down their student debt.

"This program is the result of our ongoing discussions with Canadians about their financial realities," says Jeff Macoun, executive vice president, group customer at GWL. "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."

Canadians enter the workforce with an average of nearly $27,000 in student loan debt, according to GWL. That level of debt takes approximately 10 years to repay, which forces many Canadians to delay saving for goals such as home ownership and retirement.

The pilot project is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2018, and will likely evolve as GWL assesses feedback and results.

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