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College Savings Benefits From Your Employer

As a working adult, attending a college or university may feel like an impossible dream. Not only are you busy with your job, but your finances may not stretch to include tuition, books, and other necessities. You may not realize that many employers offer college savings benefits that can help you get the advanced education you have always wanted. In some cases, these benefits are also available for your dependents who may want to attend college in the future.

Employer Sponsored 529 College Savings Plans

Far too many people find that college expenses outpace their income and periodic raises. Employment and education go hand-in-hand for a wide variety of reasons. Now, many companies and large organizations who hire employees are including 529 college savings plans in their benefit packages. With yearly tuition costs anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000, people who want to send their kids to college or attend advanced classes themselves need to look at every possible way to find funding.

A 529 college savings plan is an investment opportunity that defers taxes when the money is used for education specifically. Most parents put aside money for their young children's future schooling, but most get nowhere close to the amount that they actually need for tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses. These 529 college funds represent a growing interest for those who want to avoid the long-term burden of student loans.

Employers offer these types of savings plans, the employee puts in a certain amount of their own money, and the company matches their deposit up to a certain percentage. The actual amount varies from company to company, so it is important to ask human resources or your manager for more information. Just like with a 401(k) retirement plan, it makes sense to maximize your contribution to get as much free money for college as possible.

Why Would Companies Want to Help?

Perhaps the most obvious reason why employers offer 529 savings plans for their workers comes down to money. Companies can save on payroll taxes in multiple states across the country. Also, offering these benefits may cost less overall than other retirement funding or perks do. Even though a company or organization offers benefits that help itself, this doesn't lessen the impact that these offerings serve for employees.

Employers also have a vested interest in attracting top talent. People with education and skills, who undoubtedly want their own children to attend great universities, do better work in general. Cultivating a talented workforce now and in the future helps employers considerably.

Educate yourself about all possible college saving benefits that your employer offers. This extra money or incentive to further your education could be just the boost you need to make big changes in your life. Do not write off the opportunity for advanced learning simply because you already have a career and other responsibilities. It is possible to get financial help and often in surprising ways.