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Pension reform clears Senate, heads for President’s signature


The Senate on 30 March passed without changes the government’s pension reform plan. The legislation, which cleared the lower house the preceding week, will now be submitted for the President’s signature, the last obstacle to it becoming law effective from 1 May.

President Bronislaw Komorowski has 21 days to sign off on the bill (or veto it, or refer it to the Constitutional Court). He had earlier indicated that he would approve it, but on 30 March one of his senior advisers signalled that he would need “several more days” to make a decision. Some business groups, notably PKPP Lewiatan, are advising him to send it to the Constitutional Court.

Under the plan, the part of mandatory pension contributions that is currently paid into open (i.e. private) pension funds (OFE) will be substantially reduced, and a bigger chunk will be transferred to the state system. The effect will be to significantly reduce the state’s borrowing needs (by PLN 190bn or €47.5bn until 2020, including PLN 11bn or €2.8bn already this year, the government calculates).

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