Nov. 14, 2016
Gradifi, the industry's first provider of the Employer SLP Plan™ (Student Loan Paydown Plan), joins with Penguin Random House to announce the world's largest trade book publisher will enhance its renowned benefits package with financial assistance to help employees pay down student loan debt. Gradifi will provide the platform for administering this new benefit at Penguin Random House.
Penguin Random House becomes the first book publishing company to offer student loan repayment assistance, joining the ranks of other progressive companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), First Republic Bank and Natixis Global Asset Management, in leading the charge to tackle our nation's student loan debt crisis. Less than 5% of United States companies offer student-debt repayment assistance, a burden that impacts 70% of recent college graduates. Penguin Random House is one of the few companies nationwide to offer the student loan repayment assistance benefit to employees at every level of the organization.
Gradifi's SLP Plan™, announced in 2015, gives businesses the opportunity to pay down employees' student loan debt by contributing directly – through structured and secured channels – towards their employees' student loan principal on a monthly basis. These contributions can take years off student loan balances – potentially shaving three or more years off of a 10-year loan. Gradifi estimates that it will process $100 million in Paydown Rewards™ in 2017.
Penguin Random House, which earned a top spot on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers of 2016" earlier this year, will add the Gradifi-managed SLP Plan™ to its existing variety of unique programs and benefits, including a comprehensive, affordable healthcare plan, eligibility for either an annual bonus or cash award/profit share payment, and generous paid time off, including a four-week sabbatical for every ten years of employment. Beginning in January 2017, any regular full-time employee who has been with the company one year is eligible for the student loan repayment benefit of up to $1,200 annually during their employment, for up to seven and a half years, totaling $9,000.
Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, said, "We have always believed in doing our part to tackle broader societal challenges by starting within our own communities. With this new benefit for our employees, we have another opportunity to live up to our mission and help our employees invest in their futures while also making Penguin Random House a happy, productive, and rewarding place to work."
"The burden of having student debt has an indisputable impact on the financial stability of an employee, not to mention the paralyzing effect loans have on the overall economy." said Tim DeMello, Gradifi founder and CEO. "Penguin Random House's decision to offer Gradifi's SLP Plan™ as a benefit to their employees emphasizes their commitment to helping alleviate that burden for its employees, as well as recognizing that student loan benefits can help attract and retain millennial talent."
Gradifi is a Boston-based student loan pay down provider with the first innovative solution to the nation's $1.3 trillion student loan debt problem. The company was founded in 2014 and is led by a management team that brings decades of combined experience in consumer financial services and entrepreneurial ventures. By partnering with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop employer SLP Plans™ (Student Loan Paydown), rewards programs and brand loyalty programs, Gradifi is shifting the focus on student loan debt - from burden to empowerment. To learn more about Gradifi, visit www.gradifi.com or twitter.com/gradifi.
About Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House, the world's largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children's fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House's publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world's most widely read authors.
Elizabeth Yekhtikian, 617-686-9541