Poles fear poverty in retirement and plan to work longer

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

Poles are increasingly questioning their retirement plans and many are preparing to work longer to make ends meet.

Surveys show that 77 percent of Poles express fear that their pension will not allow them to live a decent life, and 55 percent assume they will have to work longer than the current retirement age, according to the latest “Polish Labor Market Barometer” published by the Personnel Service HR agency.

The biggest motivation for 38 percent of people to work longer is a significant increase in their future pension, especially for women, with 43 percent of women in this segment saying this was their biggest motivation, compared to 34 percent of men.

For 28 percent of workers, they plan to adjust their work to their age and physical ability.

In addition, 5 percent of Polish workers who plan to work longer say the key reason is the private medical insurance offered by the employer.

Women have doubts regarding their retirement more often, with 82 percent of women expressing this fear compared to 72 percent of men.

Krzysztof Inglot, founder of Personnel Service, points out that an aging society presents challenges that require Poles to extend their professional activity. He notes that contemporary 60-year-olds are often in great shape and valuable to companies. Inglot also acknowledges that the development of artificial intelligence will most likely also have an impact on the labor market, but demographic trends are inevitable.

According to the forecasts, by around 2030, the Polish labor market will lose about 120,000 to 150,000 people, and in the following decades, it may even be 160,000 to 240,000.

The survey showed that Poles are aware of the demographic realities, with 55 percent of people admitting that they will be forced to work longer than the retirement age. This is 5 percent more than a year ago.

Worsening demographic forecasts in Poland have led not only employees to reflect on changing work and retirement expectations but also employers. Employing retirees is now a reality for most companies in Poland.

Fifty-six percent of employers admit to having retirees in their workforce. This applies especially to the largest companies, at 64 percent compared to 60 percent for medium-sized and 42 percent for small companies. The highest proportion of retirees are at companies in the public sector (71 percent), while the lowest number work in IT (40 percent) and in hotels, restaurants and cafés (33 percent).

Retirees make up to 10 percent of the workforce in half of Polish companies, 11-20 percent in every fourth company, 21-30 percent in 18 percent of companies, and over 30 percent in 8 percent of companies, according to the report.

There is still a phenomenon of age discrimination and a preference for young employees.

“Fourteen percent of employers, who prefer to hire people under the age of 50, admit to this practice in our survey,” said Krzysztof Inglot.

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