|David Aronson, founder of Peanut Butter (Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein)|
Rise Interactive, a Chicago-based digital marketing firm, was quizzing its employees two years ago, making sure they were happy with their perks.
"We were doing our end-of-year employment engagement survey — what's working, what's not," said chief operating officer Scott Conine.
The cafe stocked with snacks? Very popular. Ditto for the four-month paid parental leave. The gold-plated healthcare plan? Much appreciated.
But there was a a glitch.
"We were getting all sorts of commentary in the survey about how our retirement plan was ineffective," said Conine, who sought out employees to talk about their concerns.
"They said, 'We actually love the retirement plan; we just can't use it,'" Conine recalled. "I said, ' What do you mean, you can't use it?'"
"They basically said, 'We're still encumbered with student debt; we have to get out from under the mountain of that before we can even think about saving for the future.'"
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