Verify student loan payments for a 401(k) or retirement plan match.

Highway partners with 401(k) and retirement plan companies to help you easily verify employees’ student loan payments for the purpose of a retirement plan match.
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Help employees achieve financial freedom with a student loan retirement plan match.

By matching against student loan payments under Secure Act 2.0, employers can help employees who are burdened by student debt save more for retirement.
of employees with student debt say 1/3 of their paycheck goes towards their student loans.
3 in 4
employees with student debt don't max out their retirement savings.
1 in 3
employees with student debt don't save for retirement at all.
As seen in

How a student loan retirement plan match works.


Onboard with Highway.

Provide access to your employee roster to get set up on the Highway platform.


Employees connect their student loans to Highway.

When your student loan retirement plan match is live, your employees can connect their student loans to Highway in a few quick steps.


Highway verifies qualified student loan payments.

On your preferred cadence, Highway will verify and report your employees' qualified student loan payments.


Your 401(k) provider distributes the match.

Highway will work with you and your retirement plan administrator to calculate and distribute your student loan payment match.

What is student loan retirement matching?

an icon for student loan contributions

Under Secure Act 2.0, employers may now treat employees' student loan payments as “elective deferrals for the purposes of matching contributions” for their 401(k) or similar retirement plan.

Employers offering a 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE IRA, or 457(b) plan retirement plan match can choose to match against an employee's student loan payments (instead of the traditional elective paycheck deferral). With student loan matching, employees with student loans may receive a retirement plan match even if they don’t contribute directly to their employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know if an employee made a qualified student loan payment?

Employees must annually certify that they made qualified student loan payments. Until more direction from the U.S Treasure is given, Companies could theoretically trust the employee's certification without requiring any extra documentation to prove that payments were made.

Alternatively, employers can use vendors like Highway Benefits to verify which qualified student loan payments were actually made.

Do we have to match student loan payments on the same frequency as regular deferrals?

Employers do not need to match qualified student loan payments on the same cadence as regular elective deferrals -- you can match on a different frequency. For example, if your company matches elective paycheck deferrals monthly or quarterly, you could decide to match qualified student loan payments annual or bi-annually.

Employees must have at least 3 months after the end of the plan year to claim their retirement match.

Can we offer employees with student loans a different match than regular participants?

A match against qualified student loan payments must meet the same vesting schedule, match percentage, and rate as a match against an elective deferral.

What's more impactful: student loan 401(k) matching or employer student loan repayments?

Employer student loan repayments and a student loan 401(k) match are two fantastic and impactful benefits that employers can offer to support employees with student loans.

While student loan 401(k) matching is a great option to help improve the financial wellness of those employees who can’t save for retirement because of their student loans, tax-free employer student loan repayments can make a significant direct impact on employees’ student loan burden.

For more information, check out our post on "Employer Student Loan Repayment vs 401(k) Student Loan Matching."