Pensions in Constitutional Tribunal

Questioning Pensions

Questioning Pensions

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal will be addressing the act that raises the retirement age of men and women to 67 years. The amendment to the law on Social Insurance Fund (FUS) pensions passed on 11 May 2012 provides that from 2013 the retirement age increases by one month every quarter. Thus, men reach the target retirement age of 67 years in 2020 and women in 2040. The act allows people to take early, so-called partial retirement, which gives them only 50% of benefits. Women have the right to do so at the age of 62 and men at the age of 65. The Solidarity trade union and representatives of Law and Justice (PiS) have questioned the act because, in their opinion, it violates the principle of trust in the state and its laws, social justice and it is unclear. Solidarity argues that legislators departed from the difference in the retirement age (60 and 65), which in the existing case law of the Constitutional Tribunal was considered to be the equalizing privilege, justified by the different social status of men and women, as well as by biological determinants. According to Solidarity, there have been no changes in recent years to justify the convergence of the retirement age for men and women. Complainants also believe that the Open Pension Fund (OFE) system is not consistent with the rules on FUS pensions. They also indicate that the act does not comply with the Convention of the International Labour Organisation ratified by Poland. It assumes that the retirement age should not exceed 65 years. Applicants believe that the disparities in the conditions for receiving a pension are huge because judges, prosecutors, farmers and uniformed officers have their pension rights protected by law whereas other citizens do not. It was also pointed that the act differentiates between citizens only because of their year of birth. For example, men born in 1953 will work 12 years longer than women born in the same year.

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