Agnieszka Pomaska

Pension reform adopted by the Sejm
11.05.2012, written by

– If today there is no one brave to conduct the pension reform, in the 30s and 40s of the 21st century Polish pensioners and Poland as a country will get into very serious trouble – PM Donald Tusk said at the Sejm. On Friday, the Sejm adopted the government draft acts on extension of the retirement age and pensions of uniformed services.

The pension act was supported by 268 MPs, 185 voted against and two abstained. Earlier, the Sejm did not accept the motion submitted by Law and Justice and Solidarna Polska to reject the draft. The act on pensions of uniformed services was adopted with 272 votes for, 177 against and one abstention.

Addressing the MPs, the Prime Minister pointed out that the reform is part of „the civilisational and political undertaking which consists in developing a relatively safe pension system”.

Donald Tusk said that the government has come to a practical conclusion from the long-standing debate on the pension system, and takes on the risk proposing the reform. He added that nobody has proposed another model „to save in the future the state from bankruptcy and pensioners from starvation-level pensions”.

– From the point of view of the state’s security and everyday life of ordinary people each of the solutions is painful, our proposal may be the most risky politically, but is the least painful for people – PM said.

– The alternative to raising and levelling the retirement age would have to be a radical and permanent increase in the pension contribution to make pensions barely sufficient for survival – the head of the government emphasised. The PM pointed out that it was also possible to „assume the path of a very significant increase in taxation to make the state responsible for subsidising low pensions”.

Commenting on the opposition’s opinions, the head of the government quoted statements made by Lech Kaczyński and his brother in which they expressed an opinion that Poles retire too early. Donald Tusk said that he agrees that „in general people in Poland retire too early today”. – Don’t you agree with that? – he asked Law and Justice MPs.

– You don’t agree, PiS doesn’t agree with this statement. Then, I’ll read it once again. „In general I agree with the opinion that in Poland people retire too early”, said President Lech Kaczyński on November 7, 2008. Don’t you agree with that? – he asked.

The act levelling the retirement age of men and women and raising the retirement age of women stipulates that from 2013 on the retirement age will increase by three months each year. The act stipulates that men will reach the target retirement age of 67 in 2020, whereas women in 2040.

The pension act provides for, among other things, early so-called partial retirement. The right to early retirement has been granted to women aged 62 with at least 35-year insurance period, and men aged 65 with at least 40-year insurance period. The early pension accounts for 50% of the full pension amount from FUS.

Furthermore, on Friday the Sejm adopted an amendment according to which the Minister of Labour and Social Policy will prepare an employment support and professional development programme for persons aged over 60, and a programme to support gender equality on the labour market.

During the votes the Sejm also adopted supplementing the pension act with provisions on agricultural disability and old-age pensions. According to them, it is possible to receive agricultural disability or old-age pension in the full amount despite conducting agricultural activity with the spouse who is subject to the disability and old-age insurance. In addition, the provisions allow a person who collects an agricultural disability pension awarded for inability to work on a farm to work outside the agricultural sector.

MPs did not accept the amendment adjusting the rules for calculating insurance periods for men and women which are calculated when farmers retire early to the rules applicable to the general system.

According to the act on pensions of uniformed services, officers of law enforcement services and professional soldiers who will start service from 2013 on will acquire the right to retire at the age of 55 and after 25 years of service. The regulations extend professional activity of soldiers and officers of 10 law enforcement services: Police, Internal Security Agency, Intelligence Agency, Military Counter-intelliigence Service, Military Intelligence Service, Central Anti-corruption Bureau, Government Protection Bureau, Border Guard, State Fire Service and Prison Service.

source: premier.gov.pl