Starting next year, U.S. employees at insurance company Unum Group will have a choice: The company will put money toward their student loans, if the worker gives up five paid vacation days.
The new perk is a creative twist on an increasingly popular benefit. Confronted by a tight labor market and ever more indebted applicants, about 4 percent of big companies surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management say they're helping their employees repay their loans with cash payments of up to $250 a month.
The deal for Unum's 8,500 workers, though, is different: Cash for debt in exchange for unused vacation days. Each day is worth an employee's hourly rate for an eight-hour day. Parents who share responsibility for a child's loans also qualify to cash in...