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Poland's cabinet approves bills reforming pension system

The Polish government has approved a bill that will hike retirement age of both men and women to 67 and a bill on reforming the pension system for uniformed services, PM Donald Tusk told a news conference on Friday.

 

Friday's was a special cabinet sitting in order for the bills to be read at the next sitting, Tusk said.

 

"I hope it will be possible for the first reading next week," he said.

 

The bill on hiking the retirement age to 67 will also introduce partial pensions for people before retirement age, Tusk said. Poland will introduce a lower age for those partial pensions for women than for men, the PM said.

 

The reform of pensions for uniformed services will extend the period of service required for retirement to 25 years from the current 15 years. The right to pension will be achieved after reaching the age of 55, Tusk said. The pension would amount to 75% of an average pay for any 10 year period selected by the retiring person.

 

In his November policy expose, PM Tusk vowed to gradually increase retirement age for men and women to 67 years from current 65 and 60 respectively.

The plan gathered a lot of criticism from opposition parties the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) and left-wing Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) but also resulted in protests from junior coalition partner the agrarian Polish People’s Party (PSL) which began launching a series of proposed changes to the bill.

A compromise was found after a long series of negotiations and high media attention. In the end, sides determined to allow to raise the standard retirement age as originally proposed, but to also introduce partial pensions for men from age 65 and women from age 62 at 50% of the regular benefit.

The Solidarity trade union ran a petition demanding a national referendum on the issue. Almost 2 million Poles signed the motion, which was eventually defeated in a parliamentary vote. The motion was supported by opposition parties PiS, SLD and Solidary Poland (SP), the ruling coalition opposed it.

Polish lower house Sejm will deal with pension reform draft bill increasing retirement age to 67 years next Thursday, Sejm Speaker Ewa Kopacz told reporters on Friday.

PiS will file for dismissing the draft bill during first reading in the Parliament, deputy head of PiS Beata Szydlo told PAP Polish news agency.

source: warsawvoice.pl

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