This Company Lets You Turn Your Unused Vacation Days into Student Loan Payments

by Evil HR Lady on February 7, 2019

Americans have fewer vacation days than their European counterparts, and yet we still don’t use them all. Some companies allow you to roll them over and cash out when you quit, but for many Americans they just disappear into the ether. If you don’t use all your vacation days, it’s just a boon for the company–they get more work out of you for no more money. 

Combine this with the crushing student loan debt many employees have–and their desire to sacrifice to reduce that burden–and insurance company Unum Group came up with a solution: trade in your unused vacation for extra money towards your student loans. (They also will allow parents who carry their children’s loans to use this benefit.)

To keep reading, click here: This Company Lets You Turn Your Unused Vacation Days into Student Loan Payments

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

BethRA February 7, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Probably not the dumbest idea if you’re trying to attract and retain younger workers, but yeah, it would be more equitable to provide a benefit like this across the board.

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Camellia February 7, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Neither of the articles say exactly why/how the money goes specifically to student loans – does Unum Group send in the loan payment for the employee? I find it interesting if that is the case. My company allows us to sell back (next year’s) vacation days, and they simply give us the money (after taxes of course). We can then spend that money however we choose.

The one restriction my company has is that the employee must retain at least five vacation days for that upcoming year, which does address Suzanne’s point of still needing time off.

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Janice February 7, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Great idea but How is this done? I would love more details

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grannybunny February 7, 2019 at 8:04 pm

I like our arrangement at the Postal Service. Once a full-time career employee has been here a few years, they earn 208 hours per year of Annual Leave and 104 hours of Sick Leave. During Open Season, they can participate in Annual Leave Exchange, cashing in up to 128 hours of Annual Leave, using the resulting money however they wish.

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MariaRose February 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Acquirement of time (personal, sick and vacation) like stated in grannybunny’s comment with the option to use that paid time in various ways is a workable option. The company has already committed those labor dollars to the fiscal year (in other words paid for it already), so the employees could have the choice, as to how to spend the money if they don’t want to use the time off. I hated having to use up my paid time because the company refused to consider letting the employees pile up the hours (mainly because of the abusers who would save all the time until the end of work life) Having an annual discussion on annual leave would eliminate this problem. The main reason companies try not to do this (I think) is part of the closeout paperwork problem of removal of paid time as it affects payroll payout timing. But that can be overcome if handled properly.

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Sara February 8, 2019 at 6:58 pm

I really, really, really like it when employees take all of their vacation time. I think they need the break. But I get why student debt would be a huge stressor on an employee, and it would be good to help them with that too.

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