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President approves pension reform


President Bronislaw Komorowski on 7 April signed into law the government’s pension reform plan. It will take effect on 1 May.

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 (to 2.3% from 7.3% of the gross salary this year, before rising slightly to 3.5% by 2018), and a correspondingly bigger chunk will be transferred to special sub-accounts within the state system, which pays for today’s pensions. The effect, says the government, will be to significantly reduce the state’s borrowing needs (by PLN 190bn or €47.6bn until 2020, including PLN 11bn or €2.8bn already this year), without in any way jeopardising today’s workers’ pension savings.

The reform is strongly opposed by leading business groups and Law and Justice (PiS), the main opposition party, and a constitutional challenge cannot be ruled out.

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