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Employer-Provided Education Assistance

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The SHRM-led Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance (CPEPEA) is happy to announce that three winners have been selected from a talented field of entrants in the “Speak Out on Section 127” contest.

The video contest was part of advocacy efforts by SHRM and other members of CPEPEA to make employer-provided education assistance (Section 127) a permanent provision of the U.S. tax code.  SHRM invited employers and employees to submit video testimonials describing why the benefit is so important to them.

The tax provision, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in assistance for any type of course at the undergraduate and graduate level.  On Dec. 17, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extends Section 127 until Dec. 31, 2012.  [See related article.

The video contest winners, who represent varying perspectives on Section 127, are:

  • Dale Powers, SPHR, an HR professional with more than 20 years of experience, who discussed his experience implementing Section 127 and what a difference it made in the lives of employees.
  • Reece Ivins, an HR generalist, who talked about employees achieving their dreams of continued education, and how that opened professional opportunities to them.
  • Katie Claya, PHR, who described how Section 127 helped her obtain her dream job.  “Section 127 is life changing for many — including myself.  With the elimination of Section 127, many people will have their dreams of achieving a higher education shattered — and many employers will lose an important development tool.”

To see the winning testimonials, as well as some of the other entries, please click HERE.

While the two-year extension of Section 127 is welcome news for employers and employees alike, SHRM will continue to advocate for its permanent inclusion in the U.S. tax code.  These video clips will be helpful in those efforts, putting a face on the position we will champion.


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