EC recommends higher retirement age for Poles

The European Commission has said that Poland should take steps to increase the effective retirement age and encourage women and elderly people to participate in the workforce.

In a recommendation, the commission said that Poland’s decision to reduce the legal retirement age could see older workers leave the workforce.

Poland should work on increasing the effective retirement age – the age at which the average person decides to exit the labour market, the European Commission said, adding that it was significantly lower that the statutory retirement age.

“A higher effective retirement age is crucial for economic growth, the adequacy of future pensions and the fiscal sustainability of the pension system,” the European Commission said.

As of October this year, the legal retirement age in Poland will drop from 67 to 65 for men and 60 for women.

But the Polish president recently launched a campaign to promote “dignified retirement” by encouraging people to choose to keep working, if they can and want to.

The European Commission also criticised the Polish government’s flagship 500+ programme of aid to families, which, although it may prove effective in fighting poverty and inequality, could cause parents, especially mothers, to disengage from the workforce.

The 500+ programme, whereby Polish families receive PLN 500 a month for the second child onwards, was introduced in the first half of 2016.

The European Commission also said that, while Poland has taken steps to tighten the tax collection system, the country still allows extensive use of reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) rates, which it should limit, while also improving the efficiency of public spending. (vb/pk)

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