By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some companies are offering a new benefit: Helping employees pay-off their student loans.

It’s a small but growing perk. Employers are offering to pay-down their employees’ student debt. They’re doing it through the services of firms such as Gradifi and Gradfin. Emeka Oguh, founder of the Philadelphia-based benefits provider PeopleJoy, says employers see the perk as another way to attract and keep talent.

“Culture, studies show, is the number one retention factor in ability to attract employees,” especially when you’re looking at millennials,” he said. “They’re oftentimes looking at culture over salary and things like that.”

Oguh says graduates have an average of nearly $40,000 in debt – and even if employers contribute $100 a month, it can shave two or three years off the life of a loan.

Right now the benefit is taxed as compensation, but Oguh says there’s legislation pending to change that.

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