Private pension funds in Poland

Keller-Krawczyk, Lech
March 2011
South East Europe Review (SEER);2011, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p83
This article takes a highly critical look at the pension system in Poland, which had been reformed after 1989 on the basis of the World Bank's 'three pillars' model of a combined state and private, mandatory and voluntary pensions system, despite evidence that the model is flawed and unobjective, being hinged on the inducements of cheaper credits for those countries adopting it. The author relates both the old and new pension systems in Poland, and describes the main problems which bedevil both - unemployment, low participation rates, an aging society and the migration of predominantly young and well-educated people. The extent of accumulated losses in privatised pension funds -- in ironic contrast to what has been achieved by the state-run insurance society -- as well as a degree of uncertainty over retirement ages generated by state activity threatens the insolvency and even collapse of the whole system. The article concludes with a brief look at fresh reforms proposed in 2011 aimed at reducing public expenditure but which appear to be at least partly politically opportunistic, as well as an outline proposal for a more sustainable pension system.


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