Analysis and assessment of changes in the statutory retirement age in Poland

Abstract
The aim of the article is to analyse and evaluate the anticipated consequences of the changes to the statutory retirement age in Poland, which will be introduced starting 1 October 2017. Despite the lengthening life expectancy in Poland, the Polish government decided to reduce the statutory retirement age and set it at the level of 60 years for women and 65 years for men. This was the realization of promises of president Andrzej Duda and of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) made in the election campaigns of 2015. It was also a reversal of the reform by the previous government, which had introduced a gradual extension of the statutory retirement age starting in 2011. The reduction of the statutory retirement age in Poland will have a significant impact on the economic and social situation in the country, as well as on the sustainability of the Polish pension system. The expected impact on the labour market, the dynamics of GDP and the general macroeconomic situation will be negative. Also, the deficit in the Social Insurance Fund will increase. Microeconomic analysis shows significant threats (for example lower pension benefits, lower replacement rates in the pension system, greater poverty risk in old age). Evaluation of the social impact of changes in the retirement age is more complex. Due to their individual life situations, many Polish citizens are ready to accept even lower pension benefits if they then have a chance to retire at the age of 60 or 65, but many others are ready to work longer. The introduction of a minimum retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men does not imply an obligation, but a right to retire which one may take advantage of or not. The author points out the public educational activities that should be introduced to make decisions about retirement or working longer more rational.
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Citation
Szczepański M., 2017, Analysis and assessment of changes in the statutory retirement age in Poland, "Journal of Insurance, Financial Markets and Consumer Protection", 25(3), pp. 64-78.
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