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09/12/2022

Starbucks supports employees with savings, student loan debt aid

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Starbucks Coffee Company announces a set of programs, designed to support eligible employees with: savings and student loan debt. (Photo: Business Wire)

Starbucks is working with outside partners to offer two new financially-oriented programs to its employees.

The coffee giant is following up on a commitment of $1 billion it made to improve wages, training and stores in May 2022 with a set of offeringsdesigned to support eligible employees in two areas of financial well-being: savings and student loan debt.

[Read more: Starbucks investing $1 billion in new wage hikes, training, store innovation]

 Working with Fidelity, Starbucks is introducing My Starbucks Savings, a new program enabling all eligible U.S. employees to contribute a portion of after-tax pay on a recurring basis directly from their paycheck to a personal savings account. To incentivize savings and account growth, Starbucks will contribute $25 and $50 credits at key saving milestones, up to a total of $250 per incentive-eligible partner.

Starbucks will also launch a student loan management benefit through Tuition.io to help eligible workers manage and optimize student loan repayments. Through this tool, eligible U.S. employees and their families will have access to new tools, resources, and individual coaching to manage student loan debt, such as repayment options and loan refinancing.

Tools within the platform are designed to help employees view all their student loan debt in one place, and locate the best individual action to take based on their personal repayment scenario and goals.

Outgoing Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz has been vocal in his opposition to burgeoning efforts to unionize Starbucks employees. The company has been offering employees perks such as wage hikes, as well as expanding its U.S. health care benefit to cover eligible travel expenses for employees and dependents seeking abortions or gender-affirming procedures when the services are not available within 100 miles of the employee’s home.

In a recent letter to employees, Shultz said that “we must not be distracted by the different vision being put forward by union organizers at some Starbucks stores.” On the company's earnings, he said "where Starbucks is required to engage in collective bargaining, we will negotiate in good faith."

“We’ve heard from our partners and know that pressures of inflation, in addition to debt and savings are weighing heavily on them,” said Ron Crawford, senior VP total rewards, Starbucks. “Providing industry-leading benefits for our partners is a cornerstone of who we are as a company. As we reinvent the future of Starbucks, together with our partners, we knew we had an opportunity to further support the financial well-being of our partners and their families.”

“Too many Americans are unprepared financially to handle the unexpected, and this current economic environment only makes it more important to help people establish solid savings behaviors and foundation to cover short-term expenses,” said Kevin Barry, president of Workplace Investing at Fidelity Investments. “As this program demonstrates, employers are in a position to help, which is why Fidelity is pleased to work with Starbucks and other companies to provide savers with a path to achieving their financial goals, such as emergency savings.”

“Student loan debt remains a tremendous financial burden for the nearly 48 million US consumers who have borrowed to finance the education necessary to unlock the best career opportunities,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io. “As we approach the time when payments will be restarted for federal loans, we're honored to work with Starbucks to support their partners and their families to make the best financial decisions regarding repayment of their student loans and options for financing their future education.”

Headquartered in Seattle, Starbucks Coffee Company operates more than 34,000 stores worldwide.