Forget the free snacks. Move over, gym memberships.

A Madison company this month launched a new employee benefit — paying off a portion of an employee’s student loan debt — in a move that could become more mainstream as student loans continue to cripple many college graduates facing mountains of debt.

Esker, a Middleton software company, launched student loan assistance as a new employee benefit this month. The company pays an employee’s student loan provider between $100 and $150 per month, depending on how many years the employee has worked there, for up to five years and a total of $9,000 in subsidies.

Student loan assistance is a benefit increasingly being offered in the private sector as companies recruit employees in a tight labor market with low unemployment.

Forbes called student loan repayment assistance the “hottest employee benefit of 2018,” with companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Aetna and Penguin Random House adding student loan payments to their lists of employee perks in recent years.

Read more in the Wisconsin State Journal.