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Agricultural pensions. KO MPs on the drastic decrease in the number of farmers retiring from 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development responds

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The number of farmers retiring has drastically decreased, pointed out the members of the Civic Coalition. The parliamentarians asked the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Henryk Kowalczyk, about the reasons. There is a response from the ministry.

Interpellation to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the matter pensions paid to farmers from the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS) were directed by Dorota Niedziela and Kazimierz Plocke from the Civic Coalition. Members of the KO asked, inter alia, why the number of farmers retiring since 2017 has decreased so drastically.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Rafał Romanowski, in response to the interpellation, pointed out that “from January 1, 2013, pursuant to the Act of May 11, 2012 amending the Act on pensions and disability pensions from the Social Insurance Fund and some other acts (Journal of Laws item 637) introduced a successive increase in the retirement age and a gradual liquidation of the so-called early farmer’s retirement.

“This benefit could still be obtained only by persons who, by the deadline of 31 December 2017, met the statutory conditions for this benefit, i.e. were 55 years old (women) or 60 years old (men), had at least 30 years of agricultural pension insurance pension and ceased agricultural activity” – explained Romanowski.

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In addition, as noted by the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on October 1, 2017, an act came into force that lowered the retirement age to 60 for women and 65 for men.

Agricultural pensions

According to the Deputy Minister, 2017 was exceptional. “Due to the above changes, 2017 was exceptional – more agricultural pensions were awarded not only in relation to later periods, but also compared to previous years” – noted Romanowski.

“From October 2017, a wider group of people received agricultural pensions (earlier they expected to reach an increased retirement age). At that time, the period during which farmers had to make a decision to stop farming and take an ‘early’ agricultural retirement was ending, which significantly the number of people applying for such a benefit has increased” – explained the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, adding that until 2014 the number of “early” pensions awarded did not exceed 17,000. annually.

Therefore, according to Rafał Romanowski, “the decrease in the number of agricultural pensions awarded after 2017 may result from the liquidation of ‘early’ agricultural pensions, as well as for demographic reasons and a decrease in the number of people insured in KRUS”.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture pointed out that since 2021 there has been an increase in the number of agricultural pensions granted, particularly significant in the period of the first and third quarters of 2022. The data quoted by him show that 18,582 pensions were awarded in that period. For comparison, in the corresponding period of 2021, there were 16,255 benefits, in 2020 – 15,294, and in 2019 – 16,406.

“Probably it is the effect of the June amendment to the act on farmers’ social insurance allowing for the payment of an agricultural pension in the full amount without the need to cease farming” – pointed out Romanowski.

According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2017 the average age of acquiring the right to a farmer’s pension was 61 years old – 59 for women and 63 for men. In 2022, the average has gone up to 63 – 61 for women and 66 for men.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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