The bridging pension is on average around PLN 3,200, said Deputy Minister of Family and Social Policy, Stanisław Szwed. As he explained, the bridging pension is calculated on the same principles as the general pension. – The benefit is 100 percent of the potential old-age pension calculated for a person aged 60, it is also indexed according to the same rules – noted the deputy minister.
President Andrzej Duda signed the amendment to the law on Wednesday bridging pensions. It repeals the expiring nature of this benefit. Currently, these benefits are available only to those persons who performed them before 1 January 1999 work in special conditions or of a special nature.
Deputy family minister Stanisław Szwed emphasized in an interview with the Polish Press Agency that these changes will come into force on January 1, 2024. He explained that pension bridging benefits are benefits designed to protect people working in difficult conditions.
According to the deputy head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, “working conditions in Poland have not improved enough to resign from the possibility of switching to earlier benefits”.
Bridging pension – for whom?
The Swede reminded that according to the new regulations, people who have worked for 15 years in special conditions and whose seniority is 20 years for women and 25 years for men will be able to apply for the bridging pension. The employee must submit an application in order to be entitled to a bridging pension.
– The new solution entitles you to retire earlier by 5 years. A woman must be 55 years old and a man 60 years old. – During these 5 years, people receiving bridging pensions are in a transitional period, then they acquire the right to an old-age pension on general terms – he added.
The deputy minister explained that the bridging pension is calculated on the same basis as the universal pension. – The benefit is 100 percent of the potential pension calculated for a person aged 60, it is also indexed according to the same rules – stressed Szwed. He reported that the average bridging pension is about PLN 3,200.
Which occupations are covered by the bridging pension?
As indicated by the deputy head of the family ministry, the list of professions that may be covered by the bridging pension can be found in the annex to the bridging pension act. – At the moment, within the framework of the Social Dialogue Council, there is a discussion on the assessment of individual sectors in these annexes. The main recipient of these demands is the Central Institute for Labor Protection, which issues the final opinion in this regard – said the deputy head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.
These are, for example, the work of: traction vehicle drivers, emergency vehicle drivers, tower crane and port crane operators, as well as members of emergency medical teams.
According to the data of the Social Insurance Institution, in June 2023 the number of people receiving bridging pensions amounted to 40.8 thousand. ZUS estimates that after repealing the expiring nature of bridging pensions, the number of people who will switch to this benefit will be: in 2024 – 7.3 thousand, in 2029 – 4 thousand, in 2033 – 4.8 thousand.
The deputy family minister pointed out that the amendment to the act also introduces protection for future retirees. – You will not have to terminate the employment contract when applying for a bridging pension. Only when ZUS issues a decision that the bridging pension has been granted, the employment contract must be terminated, explained Szwed.
He informed that about one billion zlotys is spent annually on bridging pensions. – Repealing the expiring nature of bridging pensions means an increase in expenditure for this purpose in the amount of PLN 240 million per year – said the deputy family minister.
Contributions to the Bridging Pension Fund
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the data available in 2022 shows that for about 317,000 employees performing work in special conditions or of a special nature, the contribution to the Bridge Pension Fund (FEP) is paid by 8.53 thousand. employers.
For comparison, in 2010, 7.5 thousand. employers paid contributions to FEP for PLN 312.4 thousand. employees performing work in special conditions or of a special nature, and in 2019 8.5 thousand. payers for 317 thousand employees.
Compared to 2010, the number of payers increased by 21.5% and the number of employees by 1.5%.
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