RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As a continuing investment in its employees, IAT Insurance Group, a leading provider of specialty property, casualty and surety products, is pleased to announce the launch of the IAT College Loan Assistance Support (CLAS) program. Beginning in the third quarter of 2020, IAT will match 50% of an employee’s monthly college loan payment (up to a $300 monthly contribution by IAT) with a per employee lifetime cap of $30,000. The program will also provide debt counseling and refinancing services to all employees starting in March.
“We believe that the investment in higher education is one of the best investments that most people make in their lifetime. However, with the high cost of secondary education we know that student loan debt can be a significant burden on our employees,” said IAT Insurance Group CEO Bill Cunningham. “At IAT, we are committed to improving the lives of our people, who are the reason for our success. This investment in the CLAS program is one more way we can ensure our benefits program is meeting the needs of our people. We hope that other companies are encouraged to offer a similar benefit.”
IAT is working with Boston-based Gradifi, an innovator in employee benefits for U.S. employers to create the CLAS program. Gradifi is part of the E*TRADE Financial family of companies and supports progressive organizations across the country, such as PWC, Peloton and Sotheby’s, to help employees potentially shave years off their student loans.
“IAT’s investment in Gradifi’s Student Loan PayDown Plan to help accelerate the reduction of employee student loan debt shows the company’s commitment to their workforce and the financial health and wellbeing of their team,” said Kate Winget, SVP of Gradifi. “We look forward to more companies following suit to offer this increasingly important benefit.”
The new student loan repayment program builds on IAT’s robust benefits package which also provides tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year for employees pursuing a college degree, a 7% dollar-for-dollar 401(k) company match and an additional discretionary retirement contribution of 3% annually.
“February is Insurance Careers Month, an industry-wide effort to promote the benefits of a career in insurance,” explained Cunningham. “In addition to retaining and developing our employees, we must compete for college students and recent graduates who may not have considered a career in insurance. Strong benefits help us do that.”
The IAT CLAS program is available to employees repaying loans incurred while obtaining associate, undergraduate and/or graduate degrees. Participants will continue to make their monthly payments, with IAT sending its matching amount directly to the lender, which will be fully applied to reduce the principal of the loan.
Gradifi is an innovator in employee benefits for US employers. Gradifi’s mission is to help employers build loyalty with their workforce by providing employee benefits that positively impact their employees’ financial well-being. Gradifi offers a single-platform solution to allow employers to offer employees student loan refinancing opportunities, and employer-sponsored contributions to student loans and 529 college savings plan accounts. The E*TRADE Financial family of companies provides financial services, including trading, investing, banking, and managing employee stock and financial wellness benefit plans. E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. recently acquired Gradifi, Inc. www.gradifi.com. For insights from Gradifi, follow the company on LinkedIn.
About IAT Insurance
Certified as a Great Place to Work® for the past two years, IAT Insurance Group is a privately owned, specialty insurance company providing property, casualty and surety products for niche markets. IAT goes to market through eight business units – Commercial Transportation, Specialty, Programs, Inland Marine, Excess Casualty Mid-Market, Reinsurance, IFIC Surety and a newly formed Management Liability division. The IAT Insurance Group companies are rated A- Excellent by A.M. Best. Connect with IAT Insurance Group on LinkedIn and learn more about the company at iatinsurancegroup.com.