Company Release – 2/25/2019 2:41 PM ET
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) has announced an innovative new benefit for its employees that takes the tough choice out of paying down student debt or saving for retirement.
With The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program, payments by eligible U.S. employees toward their student loans will qualify for the company’s 401(k) Plan “matching” program.
The new program will help tackle two of the biggest financial challenges Americans face today: getting out from under the burden of student loan debt and building healthy savings for retirement.
“We have the most talented workforce in our industry and benefit immeasurably from the education and expertise they bring to their work,” said Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers. “Yet many of our colleagues all too often struggle to save for retirement because student loans weigh so heavily on their finances. Investing in their education shouldn’t stop our employees from investing in their future. We are promoting a standard of employee care that enables them to do both.”
According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt in the United States reached more than $1.5 trillion at the end of 2018. Starting to save early is key to a healthy retirement fund, yet the Fed’s latest Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households noted that 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they had no retirement savings. The report also highlighted that 42 percent of those who attended college, representing 30 percent of all adults, have incurred at least some debt for their education.
As part of its leading benefits package, Travelers currently has a “matching” program for employee contributions to 401(k) accounts. Beginning in January 2020, when The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program takes effect, student loan payments will also be taken into account when determining the company’s 401(k) contribution.
Employees, including those who are not in a position to contribute at all to their 401(k) accounts because of student loans, who participate in the new program could accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in their 401(k) accounts over a decade, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at retirement. That demonstrates the importance of starting to save for retirement early in order to realize the benefit of compounding returns over time.
Travelers hires thousands of employees each year under the age of 35, most of whom have college degrees and many of whom have advanced degrees.
“This program is truly life changing for those of us who are chipping away at our debt and still trying to build for our futures,” said Sasha Kashalapov, a user experience designer who joined Travelers in 2018 with a degree in visual communication design. “It speaks volumes about how a company that cares about its employees invests in their personal well-being and success.”
Blake Perry, a claim manager at Travelers, said, “In a long list of initiatives I’ve seen Travelers implement to support and invest in employees during my nine years with the organization, I believe this is among the most impactful of them all. I look forward to participating fully!” Blake joined Travelers in 2010 and has a degree in political science as well as an advanced degree in law.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $30 billion in 2018. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190225005944/en/
Matt Bordonaro, 860-277-7014
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Career fairs can be somewhat overwhelming. From ensuring that your resume is up-to-date to perfecting your elevator pitch, there are many details to consider. However, jobseekers must remember, employers are also there to promote their best selves. The pressure is certainly not one-sided. When it comes to preparing, members of our University Relations recruitment team – Janixia Reyes, Alicia Hitchcock, and Jamie Roshka – shared three essential tips to consider:
Traditionally, career fairs will publish a list of employers attending the event in advance. Utilize this information to select and prioritize the companies you wish to connect with. Research those companies online, utilizing their company and career websites and social media channels. Collect general information about the company, their core values and mission statement as well as recent news about the company and any available job openings.
“Having conducted research before speaking to representatives from a company will make you stand out as someone who has taken the time to learn more,” said Reyes, “It will also help you curate your questions to maximize the time you have with the representatives behind the table.”
You won’t get much time with one person or company, so it is important to make a good impression quickly. Have your pitch ready to summarize your skills and experience in a concise and memorable manner.
“Think of this as a personal commercial,” said Hitchcock, “Your pitch should grab the employer’s attention, keep it, and give them cause to recall it later.”
Take the time to thoughtfully craft your pitch and practice it for length and efficiency. Having it committed to memory will bring confidence and enthusiasm to your delivery.
Hitchcock added, “Be sure that your pitch is genuine and rehearsed so that you can speak calmly and effectively about the subject you know best – you.”
“Effectively communicating your objectives gives the recruiter insight into whether you’d be a fit for their organization,” said Roshka, “It also helps them assess what role or job would work best for you.”
If you aren’t sure what your specific career goals are yet, focus on your skill set and apply it to the company you are speaking with.
“If you don’t know yet what you want to do that’s okay, too! As a recruiter it’s helpful to know if a candidate has a definitive long-term plan or if there are other opportunities we can introduce that you may not have been aware of,” added Roshka.
No matter your major, no matter the industry you’re most interested in pursuing, your ability to vocalize the correlation between your skills and the scope of an opportunity is critical. That includes highlighting details that are specific to each of the employers you connect with during the fair and beyond.