DOT ideahub - Student Loan

Tom

Trusted Contributor
Messages
46
I'm going to submit an idea to the faa ideahub website, wanted some feedback on here.
Private companies currently offer student loan help as part of a benefit package, I was thinking rather than tsp matching-it could be directed to student loans. IE you put 500 towards your tsp, the faa would put 500 towards your student loans INSTEAD of towards the standard 401k. I don't know about everyone's situation but I think this would really help a ton of young cpcs and trainees.
 

CaptainObvious

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619
I'm going to submit an idea to the faa ideahub website, wanted some feedback on here.
Private companies currently offer student loan help as part of a benefit package, I was thinking rather than tsp matching-it could be directed to student loans. IE you put 500 towards your tsp, the faa would put 500 towards your student loans INSTEAD of towards the standard 401k. I don't know about everyone's situation but I think this would really help a ton of young cpcs and trainees.
You’re probably better off using the compound interest to grow your retirement
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
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2,128
Student Loan Repayment

It's probably something that would have to be worked into the CBA or an MOU. I don't know that it would ever be allowed to "replace" tsp matching. I'd research that first, or just leave it out.
 

Tom

Trusted Contributor
Messages
46
MJ, for wording you're saying that it should just be an option?
CaptainObvious, It can be a hurdle for some people with a 300 loan payment to allocate funds for retirement based on their monthly budget. If you are only able to allocate 100 because of a student loan payment you end up with 200 in the tsp; but if you were able to allocate 300 knowing the matching would go to your student loan, you could do more.
You have 400 dollars and 300 HAS to go to student loans
Scenario 1
400
Loan payment to sallie mae-300
100+100 agency matching=200 in tsp
Scenario 2
400 into tsp with loan option
agency matching 800=500 in tsp, 300 to loan

You can't argue market performance vs interest rates and what people should do (i mean 20% last year or something out of the c fund)-but that stuff fluctuates

My point is that a lot of people are not able to contribute as much to requirement to student loans, so trying to come up with an option like this (that private companies are doing) would be greatly beneficial for us riddle grads. (and i'm not discussing whether 75k of loans was worth it or how it feels that you checked out as a pizza delivery driver and my degree does nothing for me on the wall at home)
 

MJ

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I don't know how specific the ideahub submissions have to be. If they are supposed to be detailed, then I would want the info to be as correct/feasible as possible. IMO If its just the general idea of a loan repayment program you want, I think something like "implement student loan repayment program" is better than "allow tsp matching to be applied to student loan repayment", especially if you don't know if that is actually possible.

It's probably worth something bringing to NATCA too.
 

FightingIrish2012

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174
Not a bad idea but I think something like that could be considered changing the fabric of the retirement plan itself, and generally can’t be don’t unless it’s done across the entire federal government. Like NATCA says they can’t negotiate or fight for things like cheaper or better healthcare or retirement because they are federal wide plans, the only way they could bargain that is to privatize.
 

Tom

Trusted Contributor
Messages
46
Fightingirish, thanks that's a great point-it would require legislation at a larger scale/forgot we can't push something through without full dot being involved thanks. Guess I gotta write the senator.
 
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MJ

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Did you read the link I posted... The program already exists.
 

FightingIrish2012

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174
Programs exists, it’s a policy that all departments have a form of a tuition reimbursement program on paper but they are only funded some years so it’s almost like they don’t exist. And when they do as you seen in the screen shot only 37 DOT people got to use it.

The threoritical program I liked was the one that if you were 50% through a graduate program they would give you $4000 a year until you finished. Considered starting a program but then it sat there unfunded for years. In 2017 I think they finally made it active for up to 50 people. Don’t know how many used it but I never started a master’s program and am unsure if I will. When the reimbursement is funded so rarely how can I start now and hope the program exists in a couple years when I hit the 50% mark? This is especially true when you consider getting the master’s degree would really just be for “fun”, as it would do nothing practical for career advancement.
 

GulfBravoPapa

Forum Sage
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670
The threoritical program I liked was the one that if you were 50% through a graduate program they would give you $4000 a year until you finished. Considered starting a program but then it sat there unfunded for years. In 2017 I think they finally made it active for up to 50 people. Don’t know how many used it but I never started a master’s program and am unsure if I will. When the reimbursement is funded so rarely how can I start now and hope the program exists in a couple years when I hit the 50% mark? This is especially true when you consider getting the master’s degree would really just be for “fun”, as it would do nothing practical for career advancement.
Degree Completion Program. I am in it right now. Have two classes left until my Masters is complete.
 
Messages
8
I read through the OPM link posted above, and it’s not agency specific. Does anyone have a link to policy from the FAA or DOT regarding tuition reimbursement? If not, does anyone have suggestions on who I should talk to in my facility to find those policies? FACREP, supervisor, OM, etc.
 

GMX

Trusted Contributor
Messages
123
...IE you put 500 towards your tsp, the faa would put 500 towards your student loans INSTEAD of towards the standard 401k...
You're asking for a dollar for dollar, 100% match? It will never happen and would be impossible anyway.

Now, if you'd adjust that to have the maximum agency matching of 5% going toward student debt versus your TSP account, then that could be a realistic option.

However, as CaptainObvious stated, I too believe you're better off gaining as much compound interest as possible for retirement. Over a 25 year career--if funded enough--the compound interest portion will dwarf your actual contributions. Your $500 per pay period over 25 years with a 12% return will be $1.9M and you only contributed $325K! Add the matching funds and it could be another million!

If it were me, I'd find a plan to pay off all of my debt on my own ASAP so I could start maxing out my TSP and take advantage of that sweet, sweet compound interest.
 

32andBelow

Forum Sage
Messages
387
You're asking for a dollar for dollar, 100% match? It will never happen and would be impossible anyway.

Now, if you'd adjust that to have the maximum agency matching of 5% going toward student debt versus your TSP account, then that could be a realistic option.

However, as CaptainObvious stated, I too believe you're better off gaining as much compound interest as possible for retirement. Over a 25 year career--if funded enough--the compound interest portion will dwarf your actual contributions. Your $500 per pay period over 25 years with a 12% return will be $1.9M and you only contributed $325K! Add the matching funds and it could be another million!

If it were me, I'd find a plan to pay off all of my debt on my own ASAP so I could start maxing out my TSP and take advantage of that sweet, sweet compound interest.
The student loan interest compounds too. And 12% is a bit unrealistic.
 
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