Draft law would see pension gap widen dramatically

2007-12-14 00:00
2007-12-14 00:00
Under a draft law approved by Labor Minister Jolanta Fedak, pensions would be calculated in a way that reflects both sexes' differential life expectancy. This means that women, who live longer, would have their accumulated pension savings  divided over a longer number of years than men.

Given that women also work fewer years and have their employment record interrupted by maternity leave, this could leave them with pensions 50% lower than those of men with similar earnings. The news comes just days after a ministry spokeswoman said no such provision was included in the draft law. When the proposal was first floated several weeks ago it provoked sharp criticism from labor market experts as well as some senior Civic Platform politicians.

"It is absurd. It is blatant discrimination," says Irena Wójcicka, a former Labor Deputy Minister and expert at the IBnGR think-tank, adding: "Some women will not even get the zł.600 minimum state pension. It will force some women into poverty." As a result, the government may have to step in with extra money. The draft law now goes into consultation. (Gazeta Wyborcza, p. 1, 28) R.M. 

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