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Kroger expands tuition reimbursement program for employees

The Kroger Co. announced new and enhanced long-term associate benefits, including accelerated investments in store associate wages, a more generous 401(k) benefit and additional associate discount and support programs.

The Cincinnati-based grocer announced it would ramp up its education benefit programs following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to a statement, by launching an education assistance program called Feed Your Future. Feed Your Future will support both full- and part- time associates, wherever they are on their personal education journey, whether they are pursuing GEDs, MBAs or professional certifications.

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“I am especially excited to introduce Feed Your Future, Kroger’s new, industry-leading continuous learning and education benefit. Many of our associates can attest to the life-changing power of education, and I’m proud to be one of them,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000 over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees.

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Under the new benefit, Kroger expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education. And in addition to a more generous individual and lifetime benefit, Feed Your Future will now cover full- and part-time associates following six months of employment.

Kroger and its subsidiaries will increase the company match in the 401(k) Plan to 5 percent of pay, compared to a 4 percent match currently.

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