Labour law updates and recommendations

Changes to the bill on employee pension schemes

Work is in progress on the Act on Employee Pension Schemes, which will form the obligatory means of securing a pension for working people, including employees and contractors, enabling them to accumulate additional resources for their retirement. Under the new act, all entities employing individuals entitled to participate will be legally obliged to conclude an agreement on the management of their pension scheme. The funds for the pension schemes will be collected both by the working individuals (2% of their monthly remuneration – which may be increased up to 4%) and by the employing entity (1.5% of the monthly remuneration – which may be increased  up to 4%).

The process of implementing the pension schemes was due to start in 2018, however, due to the time needed to draft the bill and to carry out public consultations, its commencement has been delayed until January 2019. The introduction of the pension schemes will take place in several phases and will depend on the number of employed individuals, i.e. employers will be obliged to conclude an agreement on the management of their pension scheme within three months of the commencement of a given phase:

Phase one – from 1 January 2019

Entities with at least 250 employed  individuals as of 31.12.2018

Phase two – from 1 July 2019

Entities with between 50 and 249 employed individuals as of 30.06.2019

Phase three – from 1 January 2020

Entities with more than 19 employed individuals as of 31.12.2019

Phase four – from 1 July 2020

Other entities and entities from the public sector

A new draft of the bill has been published on the official website of the Government Legislative Centre and it introduces important changes in comparison with the previous version published several months ago. The most important changes are:

– extending the list of entities that can manage a pension scheme

According to the new provisions, apart from investment funds, employers will be entitled to conclude agreements on the management of pension schemes with common pension companies, occupational pension companies and insurance companies that are entered in the register of pension schemes.

– limit on the  exemption from creating a pension scheme

The new draft bill limits the possibility of exemption from the obligation to create a pension scheme to employers that provide the opportunity to participate in occupational pension schemes. According to the first draft, these entities could be exempted from the obligation to establish a pension scheme provided that they offered their employees an employee pension scheme with a contribution of at least 3.5% of their salary. The new draft limits the possibility of exemption from the obligation only to employing establishments where at least 50% of the employed persons join the employee pension scheme.

– lowering the amount of the pension scheme participant’s obligatory contributions

Changes in the bill also provide for the possibility to reduce costs incurred by a pension scheme participant if his/her remuneration obtained from various sources in a given month does not exceed PLN 2,100 – in such a case, the basic payment financed by the participant may amount to less than 2% of his/her remuneration, but not less than 0.5%.

– lessening the responsibility of employers for the failure to create a plan

The new draft introduces only financial responsibility for not concluding an agreement on the management of a pension scheme in a timely manner, i.e. a fine amounting to 1.5% of the remuneration fund in the employing entity during the financial year preceding the imposition of the fine. The possibility of imposing a penalty of a restriction of liberty or deprivation of liberty on persons representing employers for the failure to comply with the obligation to implement a pension scheme in a timely manner has been removed.