The Housing Account is part of the government’s First Apartment program. The purpose of the account is to collect funds for your own apartment or house. The benefits of running it include the possibility of receiving a housing bonus as well as interest exemption from income tax. Such an account can be opened from August 10, 2023 in all branches of PKP Bank Polski.
– Owning your own apartment is the dream of many Poles and as the largest bank in the country, we want to make it easier for them to achieve it. The Housing Account is a good proposition for people who want to start systematically saving for their first “M” or for the first apartment for their child – said Dariusz Szwed, vice-president of the management board of PKO Bank Polski.
– The huge interest in the Safe 2% loan meant that we decided to accelerate the introduction of the second element of the First Apartment program, i.e. the Housing Account, to the bank’s offer. The mission and goal of PKO Bank Polski is to provide customers with services that meet their current needs. The Housing Account is another solution in the area of mortgage loans, after the Housing without own contribution program, in which PKO Bank Polski is involved, he emphasized.
Who can have a Housing Account?
A Housing Account can be opened by a person aged 13 to 45. In the case of a minor, the account may be opened by his/her legal representative and this person may use the money accumulated there with the consent of this representative. One person can open one Housing Account.
An account can be opened by a person who does not have and has not owned an apartment or a single-family house or a cooperative law regarding a residential premises or a single-family house. The account will not be able to be opened by a person who already had another housing account, unless it was closed before the person turned 18 and the housing bonus was not paid.
An account can also be opened by a person who has or had the right of ownership or has or had a cooperative right to one residential premises or a single-family house, but this applies to a person who has children. If you live with at least two of your own or adopted children, the apartment cannot be larger than 50 sq m, in the case of three children – 75 sq m, and in the case of four children – 90 sq m. If you are raising five or more children, there are no restrictions on the area of the premises.
A Housing Account may be held by a person who, while maintaining the account, acquired an apartment or a single-family house by inheritance or had a share of up to 50% acquired by inheritance before opening the account.
The Housing Account may also be used by a person who previously owned an apartment or a single-family house, which, however, was excluded from use by the decision of the construction supervision authority in connection with a construction disaster or the effects of flood, wind, landslide or other natural event, or this occurred at least 12 months before starting the account.
How to open a PKO BP Housing Account
To open a PKP BP Housing Account, just visit any bank branch, remember to take your ID document with you, sign the contract and the required documents, and then deposit regularly from PLN 500 to PLN 2,000. PLN per month. Payments can be made by transfer or at branches.
– The introduction of the Housing Account to the offer of the largest Polish bank will certainly result in even greater interest in this important instrument of the First Housing program. A large number of PKO Bank Polski branches ensures that anyone interested in the Account will be able to receive reliable information about it. Since the beginning of the program, 834 savings accounts have been opened, with a total amount of over PLN 1.5 million, and these numbers are growing every day – said the Minister of Development and Technology, Waldemar Buda.
The period of systematic payment must last from three to ten calendar years. Each year you can not deposit money into the account for a month without any consequences, and installments of various amounts are also possible. Making at least 11 payments during the year in the amount of at least PLN 500 is a condition for receiving an additional savings bonus from the state. The saved funds can be used for five years, and in the case of persons under 18 years of age – this period is counted from their birthday.
The maximum period of keeping an account is ten years, the account can be kept until March 31 of the year that follows ten years from its opening. For example, if the account was opened on August 20, 2023, it can be maintained until March 31, 2034.
Advantages of the Housing Account
The main advantage of having a Housing Account is receiving a bonus. Its amount will depend on the amount of funds paid and the housing bonus index, which will be calculated and published each year by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. You will be entitled to the housing bonus after three years of maintaining the account, if payments are made regularly.
Interest will be exempt from the so-called Belka tax, which means that you will not have to pay 19% capital gains tax on them. The bank will only charge a 1% commission on the housing bonus paid.
You will be entitled to receive the housing bonus and tax exemption of the bonus and interest if the funds accumulated in the account are used for housing purposes, i.e. for the construction of a single-family house, including its finishing, for the purchase of land in order to build a house on it, for the purchase of a residential premises or a single-family house, including its finishing, as well as the implementation of a housing cooperative investment.
Funds from the account may also be used to acquire a cooperative right to a residential premises or a single-family house, including its finishing or to make a construction contribution or a housing contribution referred to in the Act on Housing Cooperatives, to pay the participation amount referred to in the Act on social forms of housing development, as well as for the renovation or reconstruction of a residential premises or a single-family house that has been excluded from use on the basis of a decision of the construction supervision authority.
Maintaining a Housing Account is free of charge. The savings will bear additional interest in accordance with the bank’s offer. PKO BP Bank has prepared an attractive interest rate of 5.35% per annum, valid until December 31, 2023.
If money is not regularly deposited into the account during the first three years, it will be closed and the accumulated funds will be reduced by income tax. When no payments are recorded after three years or when the savings are withdrawn, the account will be converted into a Housing Deposit. This will also happen after ten years of properly maintained account.
The Housing Deposit will be valid for 12 months. When the owner is under 30 years old, he will be able to renew it without a limit, and when he turns 30, he will be subject to a limit of four renewals.
The interest rate on the Housing Deposit will be fixed and will amount to 75% of the interest rate on the 12-month deposit, which is available in the PKP BP offer, or at least 50% of the WIRON index on the transformation date (this will be the case when the 12-month deposit is not available at the bank).
If the money from the Housing Deposit is used for housing purposes, its owner will receive a bonus and exemption from interest and income tax bonuses on the same terms as in the case of the Housing Account.