WASHINGTON, DC -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) commends Congress for the year-end passage of Secure Act 2.0 provisions (inclusive of AIA-endorsed H.R. 2917, the Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act), which help emerging professionals save for retirement while paying down student loan debts.

“This legislation helps provide a path to retirement for architects feeling the burden of student loan debt,” said AIA 2023 President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA. “Beyond the value to current emerging professionals, this legislation lowers one of the many barriers of entry into the profession for underrepresented architect groups.”  
AIA and American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) partnered together to advocate for this legislation in 2019, specifically, the bipartisan Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act, which allows employers to make matching contributions to a 401(k)-retirement plan when their employees make student loan repayments. Recent graduates who cannot afford to save for retirement would no longer have to forego the employer match.

AIA is continuing to take a multifaceted legislative approach to addressing student loan debt issues. In addition to advocating for retirement parity legislation, AIA and its members are working with lawmakers to identify ways to make college more affordable. AIA recently commissioned a study on student debt to gain a better understanding of its impact on different architect demographic groups.

According to the Federal Reserve, an estimated 46 million Americans owe approximately $1.75 trillion in student loan debts. In the AIA study referred to above, respondents owed an average of $53,200 in accumulated debt after graduation.