Prime Minister Beata Szydło: We give Poles back their right of choice

The act restoring the retirement age for women to 60 years and for men to 65 years has entered into force. The Polish government offers Poles a choice – if someone wants to work longer, they may do so. It is a decision of every one of us. Retirement is a right, not an obligation, said Prime Minister Beata Szydło during the meeting with Poles who came to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister at her invitation from all over Poland.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister emphasized that in line with the reform which became effective on 1 October, everyone, depending on their family or financial situation, would be able to decide how long they would work, pursuant to the adopted solutions. “This is the choice of Poles,” she said.  She stressed that the restoration of the previous retirement age was a thoroughly thought-out reform which was consulted with Poles, complied with social expectations and was safe for the state budget.

“The Law and Justice government fulfils its promise. We prove once again that we keep our word, when we say something, we really mean it. We are proceeding according to plan,” said the Prime Minister.

We are withdrawing the detrimental reform unwanted by Poles

“By lowering the retirement age, we finally withdraw a detrimental decision of the government of the Civic Platform (PO) and the Polish Peasants’ Party (PSL) to make equal and extend the retirement age to 67, which was opposed by Poles. Some said that it condemned many Poles to work virtually until death. Disrespecting the voice of the society, lack of consultations and ignoring situation of individuals,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister recalled that during the 2011 election campaign PO did not mention plans to change the retirement age. “This is an issue of responsibility and politicians’ honesty. Law and Justice presented and talk about the projects that it is implementing now during the election campaign. We are not only consistent and reliable, but also fair to voters,” she underlined.

She recalled that during public protests after the retirement age increase 2 million signatures were collected, calling for a referendum, but the voice of citizens was then ignored.

Fulfillment of promises of the Law and Justice government

The Prime Minister reminded that the implemented programme, which includes a key objective to restore the previous retirement age in force before the PO-PSL retirement reform, was created during the election campaign, when the Prime Minister held meetings with ordinary Poles in all places of the country.

“Thanks to these meetings, during which we visited gminas and poviats, we did not only created the programme of Law and Justice, which is now implemented by the government and the Law and Justice parliamentary club. We also heard what you expect and what your vision of the Polish state is, as well as much advice that taught us what life is and how we should tackle the problems of Poles,” underlined the Prime Minister, thanking Poles.

On 1 October, new regulations came into force, restoring the retirement age: 60 years for women and 65 years for men. This is the return to the situation before the 2012 reform, which introduced gradual increase of the retirement age for both men and women up to 67 years.

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