You have surely noticed that the situation in the world is getting worse – the number of elderly people is constantly increasing. Society in Poland is also aging, which poses a challenge not only to pension systems. It also affects health and social care, as well as the economy. From this post you will learn how to save for retirement in Poland to gain more resources for life.
What is a pension?
Retirement is a quiet period of our lives – it allows us to do things we didn’t have time for before. Due to the fact that we no longer work, our financial possibilities are limited. You might think that seniors don’t have an easy life in this country. But let’s face it, no one really does. The sooner we realize this, the better.
If we have become accustomed to a certain standard of living, it may be difficult for us to function after retirement. The main reason for this state of affairs is the lack of regular remuneration. In return, we receive a monthly retirement benefit from Social Security. This is a specific amount, calculated based on the years we have earned. Moreover, it is often a modest amount.
Unfortunately, health problems are becoming more and more common. Of course, this involves the need to purchase medicines or even pay for treatments. Free medicines have been available for people aged 75 and over for some time now. However, younger people do not have this privilege, so they have to pay everything themselves. We are then dealing with a really difficult situation. Especially when we have to spend several hundred zlotys on medications alone every month.
It would be good to have some savings of your own so as not to feel these restrictions too strongly in the future. However, you must remember that the savings will not come out of nowhere.
Pension system in Poland
The principles of operation of this system are specified in the Act on pensions and annuities from the Social Insurance Fund. As for Poland, in 2017 the retirement age was introduced as follows:
- 60 years for women,
- 65 years for men.
However, it is worth remembering that these rules do not apply to all professions. Selected professional groups that are served by industry pension systems are excluded from it. Such professions include, for example, teachers, uniformed services and KRUS* beneficiaries. In these cases, there are completely different rules – both in terms of calculating the amount of pensions and the retirement age (which is lower).
Please note that the situation of women is the worst. There are two reasons for this: they live longer than men and work shorter hours. As the amount of the pension depends, among others, on: years worked, the conclusion is obvious – the fewer years you work, the lower the benefit will be.
Moreover, women’s earnings are lower than men’s. This means that if they want to have as much money as men in 40 years, they should save not only more, but also for longer. How to do it so as not to regularly strain your budget? The best solution is also the simplest – start saving as early as possible.
*KRUS – Polish acronym. The Agricultural Social Insurance Fund is a state institution responsible for farmers’ social insurance.
If you are looking for ways to save or would like to learn how to start, please read these posts:
Saving for retirement – what are the options?
Some people assume that they do not have to save for retirement – that’s why they pay ZUS contributions. However, they forget that the number of retirees is still growing. According to all forecasts, the amount of pension benefits will constantly decrease. To put it simply, ZUS* will have nothing to pay them from.
*ZUS – Social Security.
The most popular ways to save money for retirement include:
- Individual Retirement Account (IKE) – a type of savings account that allows you to accumulate additional funds for retirement. You can deposit any amount you want, subject to deposit limits. Thanks to this, you create a financial cushion for the future. This type of account can be opened in various financial institutions, including: at a bank, insurance company or General Pension Company,
- Individual Pension Security Account (IKZE) – a pension product, basically another type of IKE, through which you can collect bonus money for retirement on your own. The capital paid into such an account can be multiplied – through investments. Importantly, the profits achieved are not subject to Belka tax,
- Employee Pension Plans (PPE) – an additional benefit that employers offer to their employees. It is not obligatory and those interested join it voluntarily. Its operation is based on the fact that employees save for their retirement by automatically deducting specific payments from their salary,
- savings accounts – a type of bank account that is a combination of an account and a deposit. It is used to save money while benefiting from the bank’s interest rates. You have free access to this money, so you can pay additional amounts,
- treasury bonds – a type of securities that are issued by the government. They enable you to save for retirement and earn interest. Payment of the agreed interest is guaranteed by the State Treasury,
- investing in real estate – buying apartments for rent is a good way to invest financial surpluses. You can also consider other types, e.g. renting office space or a warehouse. Another option is to live in a house or apartment and sell it for a profit after some time. This is an example of a long-term commitment,
- investing in shares – i.e. buying shares in companies that are listed on the stock exchange. An investor buys shares and then counts on the increase in the value of a given company, which will also increase the value of his shares. This involves considerable risk, as shares may lose value.
The main options for supplementing your pension are:
- child or pet care,
- handyman – a person dealing with various types of repairs, breakdowns, etc.,
- work in security, warehouse or concierge,
- creating handicrafts and selling them (from jewelry to toys or clothes),
- home help,
- baking cakes,
- seasonal work (e.g. as Santa Claus),
- work in the library,
- private lessons,
- care for older people,
- tailoring services,
- selling organic products from your own garden,
- writing books or advice articles.
Supplementing your pension – is there a limit?
When performing additional paid work, the income limit is important – this applies to people who have not exceeded retirement age. If we exceed the established limit, the amount of the benefit may be reduced or even suspended completely.
However, this limit does not apply to people who have reached retirement age (i.e. 60 or 65 years old, depending on gender).
The conducted research clearly shows that hardly anyone saves for their retirement today. There is one conclusion – this must change as soon as possible. Think for yourself: if fewer and fewer people work and more and more people receive benefits, our future is in doubt. The amount of retirement benefits will decrease dramatically, which will mean that few people will be able to afford a decent life. To change this, you need to take care of the future yourself by saving capital now.
Choosing how you save for retirement depends on several factors. Firstly, your individual needs and preferences are important. Your current age and financial situation are also important.
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