Polish president OKs employer-sponsored pension plans

Poland’s president on Monday signed into law a plan to introduce voluntary, employer-sponsored pension programmes as a new option for citizens to save for retirement.

Signing the legislation during a high-profile ceremony at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Andrzej Duda said he hoped the new pension plans would help improve the finances of future pensioners while injecting much-needed capital into the economy.

The new system was last month approved by Poland’s parliament, passing the lower house in a 229-197 vote with two abstentions.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in August that the new Employee Capital Pension System (PPK) would be another social assistance programme launched by his conservative government to ensure the financial security of families.

Under the new system, employers will contribute the equivalent of at least 1.5 percent of employees' gross wages to individual retirement savings accounts every month. Employees will in most cases be required to contribute no less than 2 percent of their gross monthly wages, and the government will make a supplementary contribution of PLN 240 every year, in addition to a one-off welcome payment of PLN 250.

The new system will take effect in stages beginning next year and be fully up and running nationwide by January 1, 2021.