MP Dan Albas wants to make it easier for employers to pay down workers’ student

MP tables bill for students

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas tabled a private-members bill Friday to help employers retain university and college graduates struggling with student loans.

Currently, if an employer wanted to help an employee pay off their student loans, either with a bonus or part of their salary, that would be taxed as regular income.

Albas’ Bill C-317, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (assistance for the repayment of student loans), allow employers and employees to enter voluntary arrangements where payments made by an employer to an employee pursuant to a student loan assistance program would be a non-taxable benefit.

“Young people tell me all the time that graduating with thousands of dollars in student loans is a massive barrier to them planning for the future,” said Albas. “This bill will help support people struggling with student loans by incentivizing them to work and save.”

Albas says student loan balances are often listed by young adults as a major reason for suffering from economic anxiety. Allowing employees and employers to voluntarily enter into an arrangement in which part of the employee’s wage would go towards student loan repayment as a tax-free benefit would help young people to pay down debt and start saving for the future, the local MP explained.

“This legislation will also help employers attract talented workers and keep them,” said Albas. “This bill is a win-win across the board, and I hope attracts widespread support in Parliament.”

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