U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) Thursday introduced new legislation amending IRS Code to extend the tax exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance to include payments of qualified education loans by an employer to either an employee or a lender.

The Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act (H.R. 795) encourages employers to be part of the solution of the nation’s growing student debt problem by allowing them to offer a tax-free employee benefit that will help graduates pay down their loans, says Davis. Many companies already see the attraction and retention payoff for providing such a benefit, but “we want to encourage more to participate so we can help both struggling graduates and our economy,” Davis says.

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