Poland's ministries responsible for finance and economy are working on changes to the pension system which would curb the activity of private-owned open pension funds (OFEs).
Private pension funds constitute one of the two parts of the mandatory system, to which every working Pole must pay contributions. The other pillar of the pension system is the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), which is operated by the state.
The Economy Ministry wants to reduce the fees of OFEs or make them depend on investment results. The ministry is considering using the funds as a means for investments seen as strategic by the government, such as infrastructure, energy sector, health care and R&D. Minister Janusz Piechociński has also said that membership in OFEs should become voluntary.
The Finance Ministry has earlier suggested that money collected on a person's OFE account should be transferred to ZUS 10 years before they reach retirement age.
"Funds accumulated by OFE members nearing retirement age, and even more so by already retired OFE members, should not be exposed to investment risk," Deputy Finance Minister Wojciech Kowalczyk wrote in a letter to Gazeta Wyborcza.
He added that such solutions "have the least negative impact on public finances" and allow for the use of ZUS's structures and procedures that are already in place.
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