Boeing announced that it is offering a new benefit to enrolled employees during its upcoming open enrollment for 2023 which runs from November 1st through November 22nd, 2022.
Next year, eligible Boeing employees can receive a company match on a combination of their eligible student loan payments plus any match-eligible contributions that they make to their Boeing 401(k) during the year, up to their applicable maximum company match.
Millions of Americans, many Boeing employees among them, currently owe $1.75 trillion in student loan debt. The U.S. Department of Education says it takes people an average of 17 years to pay off education debt and that people paying down student debt are less likely to purchase a house, take out a car loan or save for retirement.
Who is eligible?
Recently, President Biden rolled out several federal student loan debt relief programs to Americans. The Boeing 401(k) Student Loan Match is completely separate from those.
Regardless of whether employees participate in the federal plan or not, if they continue to make student loan payments, then they may be eligible for a Boeing 401(k) match on those funds, up to applicable limits.
Most U.S. nonunion Boeing employees are eligible for the Student Loan Match as are employees represented by SPEEA Professional and Technical Units, IAM&AW Local 725, SPFPA Local 159 and Cabinet Makers, Millmen, and Industrial Carpenters Local Union 721.
Who should enroll?
The new benefit was created for employees who are currently unable to make both their student loan payments and maximize their company match to the Boeing 401(k) due to their financial circumstances.
Boeing contributes up to your maximum match and not beyond, so if you are already contributing enough to the Boeing 401(k) to receive your maximum company match, this is likely not the right benefit for you.
What you need to know before enrolling:
1) The match is made only once per year
If you enroll, your company match will no longer be contributed to your Boeing 401(k) on a per pay period basis. Instead, Boeing will make a single, lump sum contribution to your account after the year ends.
2) You generally can’t opt out mid-year
For the most part, you may not opt out or unenroll from the Student Loan Match during the calendar year. Once enrolled, you remain in the Student Loan Match for the remainder of the calendar year even if you pay off your student loan(s) during the calendar year. You can leave the benefit if you change positions at Boeing to one that is ineligible for the benefit or if you leave Boeing.
Enrollment does not prevent you from changing your contributions to the Boeing 401(k), nor does it prevent you from changing the amount of your student loan repayments.
3) It does not work with SSP/Exec SSP
If you enroll in the Supplemental Savings Plan (SSP) or Executive Supplemental Savings Plan (Executive SSP), you are not eligible for the Student Loan Match.
4) It does not carry over from year to year
Enrollment in The Boeing 401(k) Student Loan Match does not carry over year to year, which means employees must sign up every fall for the next year.
5) You need to submit student loan login information to Fidelity
When enrolling, eligible employees will need to submit the login information for their student loan(s) to Fidelity, the Boeing 401(k) service provider. Fidelity will track and add up what employees pay on their eligible student loans throughout the year. After the year ends, Boeing will count both student loan payments and any match-eligible contributions the employee makes to their Boeing 401(k) to determine their company match, up to the employee’s maximum match limit.
How to enroll:
Enrollment in the Student Loan Match for 2023 runs Nov. 1-22, 2022 on https://Netbenefits.com/Boeing.
For more information, including a Fact Sheet and FAQs, visit https://Boeingretirementchanges.com.
If you have any questions about your employee benefit plan, whether you work at Boeing or elsewhere, please call Jason Noble at (843) 743-2926.
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