NextGen Security, SDM’s 2017 Systems Integrator of the Year, signed on with Boston-based Gradifi, a provider of the Employer SLP Plan benefit (Student Loan Paydown Plan benefit) to introduce a new employee benefit: financial assistance to pay down student loan debt.

NextGen Security is joining the ranks of other progressive companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in leading the charge to tackling our nation’s student loan debt crisis, which impacts 70 percent of recent college graduates in the U.S.

Gradifi’s SLP Plan benefit, announced in 2015, gives businesses the opportunity to help eliminate the $1.3 trillion student loan problem and pay down employees’ student loan debt. Companies contribute directly — through structured and secured channels — towards their employees’ student loan on a monthly basis. These contributions can take years off student loan balances, potentially shaving three or more years off a 10-year loan.

Beginning in April, NextGen Security will supplement eligible employees’ regular student loan payments with a monthly contribution through the Gradifi-managed SLP Plan benefit.

Dwight Smith, senior vice-president of NextGen Security, said, “As part of our ongoing effort to be the best employer that we can be, NextGen Security is excited to unveil the Student Loan Repayment Benefit and our partnership with Gradifi. Not only do we believe that this benefit will differentiate us from other employers in the market, but more importantly, we also feel that it is an impactful and meaningful mechanism for improving the financial well-being of our most crucial asset — our employees.”

Meera Oliva, Gradifi’s chief marketing officer, said, “For borrowers, student loan debt is a real source of stress and a significant financial burden. NextGen’s decision to offer Gradifi’s SLP Plan will provide meaningful debt relief to employees, while giving the company an opportunity to compete in today’s increasingly tight labor market. Ninety percent of those with outstanding student loan debt say a student loan repayment benefit would positively impact their decision to accept a job offer, to recommend an employer or to stay at their current firm.”