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Finance minister defends pension reform plan

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 03.07.2013 10:53
Finance minister Jacek Rostowski has defended the government's prospective reforms of the country's private Open Pension Funds (OFE).

Minister of Finance Jacek Rostowski. Photo: Polish Radio/Wojciech Kusinski

Speaking with Polish Radio, he stressed that the OFEs do not want to pay pensions for life, arguing that this factor had been ignored in debates on reform of the system.

“Someone is trying to divert attention from a fundamental pension problem that we have to resolve,” he claimed.

Last week, Rostowski approved three of nine draft reform programmes, together with Minister of Labour Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz.

The potential reforms seek to channel money away from the private Open Pension Funds (OFEs) to the country's social security institution ZUS.

Rostowski had previously said that Poland's three-pillar pension system introduced in 1999 – a system which cleared OFEs to receive 7 percent of tax-payers' annual earnings - was a “giant mistake.”

Rostowski stressed that Prime Minister Tusk's government had already surpassed its predecessor in terms of grappling with pension problems, citing among others the reduction in pensions to former members of Poland's communist-era secret police.

He also revealed that although the OFEs represented the pension reform priority, “the time will surely come” for an overhaul of the country's Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS). (nh)

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