Abbott Announces Freedom 2 Save Program for Employees to Address Student Debt
ABBOTT PARK, Ill.,
Abbott's Freedom 2 Save program will enable full-time and part-time employees who qualify for the company's 401(k) – and who are also contributing 2 percent of their eligible pay toward student loans – to receive an amount equivalent to the company's traditional 5 percent "match" deposited into their 401(k) plans. Program recipients will receive the match without requiring any 401(k) contribution of their own.
The benefit responds to recent financial challenges facing young employees – many of whom have undergraduate and advanced degrees in science, engineering and business fields – and adds to the strong appeal of joining the Abbott family.
"We see our young professionals coming to us with a problem: Student loan debt payments keep them from setting aside the money they'd like to put in savings for retirement," said
Americans collectively owe
Abbott competes for the best and brightest minds who have earned degrees ranging from science and engineering to sales and business development. The company hired more than 1,000 people under the age of 35 last year in
One of those hires was Rariety Monford, 26, an engineer in the company's professional development program, who says she plans to take advantage of Freedom 2 Save.
"I was out-of-state for my biomedical engineering degree, so my student loans are well more than the average," Monford said. "Paying it off is my
For those who choose to take advantage of Abbott's innovative program like Monford, here's what it could look like:
Someone who joins Abbott with starting annual pay of
"Our employees have invested a lot in themselves to earn their way into Abbott, and we don't want student loans to prevent them from beginning to save when time is on their side," Fussell said. "With this program, we're changing the retirement savings formula."
The benefit pairs with Abbott's industry-recognized total benefits package that includes medical coverage, health and wellness programs, commuter benefits, childcare solutions, and an array of innovative retirement programs.
At Abbott, we're committed to helping people live their best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we've brought new products and technologies to the world – in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals – that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 99,000 of us are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries we serve.
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ABBOTT MEDIA, Ellen Wichman, 224-667-8522