The question of extending the retirement age strikes a sensitive chord. As data from last year show, almost 90 percent. eligible persons retired within the first year of obtaining the entitlement, of which over 70% – as soon as he got the right to do so. Poles do not want to work anymore, but with time they will have to.
In the referendum, PiS wants to ask about extending the retirement age, and the construction of the question indicates that in the opinion of those in power, raising it is one of the greatest dangers for Poles. Anyway, not only in Poland, the topic arouses emotions: the French took to the streets when the government announced a slight extension of the retirement age. The demonstrators, whose journalists asked why they were protesting, replied that they did not work for over 30 years to be told to stay in the office for even a year longer, and that they had a long-term plan for after their 60th birthday and did not include an eight-hour shift At work.
One of the lowest retirement ages
Only that with a GDP per capita of 39 thousand. dollars, the French can afford some pickiness. GDP per capita in Poland is only 18,000. dollars, so our negotiating position in this matter is clearly lower.
“Rzeczpospolita” notes that the retirement age for women in Poland – 60 – is one of the lowest. We are one of six countries where women can retire earlier than men. Our difference of five years is the largest in the EU. In addition, Poles are in such a hurry to retire that hardly anyone is ready to wait even a few months to increase their pension capital. Almost 90 percent eligible persons retired within the first year of obtaining the entitlement, of which over 70% – as soon as he got the right to do so.
This rush has not been slowed down even by tax incentives for people who are of retirement age, but have not retired and are professionally active. They were introduced by the provisions of the Polish Order. This does not mean that people who have exceeded the retirement age do not work: some of them, after acquiring the right to a pension, found employment again.
Raising the retirement age. A process for years
Economists who took part in Rzeczpospolita’s survey a few months ago are of the opinion that the issue of extending the retirement age has not yet been completed.
Prof. Marek Góra, an economist at the Warsaw School of Economics and one of the authors of the pension reform of 1999, believes that the minimum retirement age must be equal for men and women. Social preparation for longer work is also needed. – This is a life challenge regarding the continuous adaptation of professional qualifications to the changing situation on the labor market, it is a lifestyle that is fundamental to our health. It is finally, and perhaps most importantly, an acknowledgment that we will be active longer – he said.
In an interview with the newspaper, he added that he was aware that politicians would be afraid of legal changes and would resort to the voluntary nature of longer work.
Low retirement age results in low pensions
Low pensions are an alternative to shorter work. We live longer and longer, so when calculating monthly income, ZUS divides the collected pension capital by an increasing number of months. Life expectancy for women in Poland is estimated by Eurostat at 79.6 years, and for men at 71.6 years. X divided by the 240 months that a woman statistically has to live after her 60th birthday will give a smaller monthly total than divided by 180 months, which was valid a few years ago.
The second thing is that fewer and fewer people are working for seniors’ pensions, and our system is constructed in such a way that the money for current benefits comes from the contributions of people who are currently professionally active.
The amount of future pensions. Without additional savings, life will be difficult
The ratio of pensions to earnings, i.e. the replacement rate, is falling. If someone hopes that after retirement he will be able to afford a comfortable (no craziness, just a relatively comfortable and financially predictable) life, then he may be disappointed. Without additional savings, it will be very difficult.
In February this year, the host of the “Newsroom” program in Wirtualna Polska asked his guest, Dr. Tomasz Lasocki from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw, what pension he, as an average 40-year-old man, can count on. The answers can upset even the most optimistic person about the future.
Dr. Lasocki began by saying that in the case of a 40-year-old, “half the cards are already dealt”. In the final analysis, a lot depends on how he was “treated by the market” in the first years of his professional activity.
– If as a student you worked on commission, and I assume that you did, then you have 5 non-contributory years, which count only to get the minimum pension. If your father graduated from college, he increased his pension by 3.5 percent. The rules of the game have completely changed. In the old system, it was enough to show 10 years of good work to determine the amount of the pension. Not a single premium is forgiven in the new system, he said. – For 25 years we have not learned this and it has not reached our consciousness.