There is a common belief that in order to receive a pension, you must achieve a certain length of service. This training consists of socialist and non-socialist periods, the last category including, among other things, the period of study. In addition, seniority is primarily related to what has been determined for leave purposes. Is it the same for retirement purposes? Is technical school included in your pension?
- Length of service: How important it is when determining the right to a pension
- Duration of service when determining the initial capital
- How does the length of service affect the right to a minimum pension?
- Will years of study at a technical school count as work experience?
Does completing technical secondary school affect the right to a pension and its amount?
Length of service: How important it is when determining the right to a pension
Documentation of appropriate work experience: 20 years for a woman or 25 years for a man It is necessary to receive a pension under the old system after reaching the legal retirement age – 60 for women and 65 for men. This applies to people born before December 31, 1948.
As you can easily calculate, the vast majority of these people have been retired for dozens or at least several years. If a person has not documented the appropriate length of service, he has the opportunity to do so after reaching retirement age, because only if he fulfills both conditions at the same time, he is entitled to a pension.
In the case of people applying for a pension under the new rules, namely those born on January 1, 1949, the length of service does not determine the right to a pension – anyone who has paid pension insurance contributions for any period will get it, at most in a very small amount. Naturally, the length of service indirectly affects the amount of the pension itself – the longer the period of work, that is, the payment of contributions, the greater the accumulated amount. On the ZUS account and sub-accountAnd therefore in the future – the amount of benefit.
Practical experience, in turn, is important for two other reasons:
- When determining the amount of initial capital for persons who worked before January 1, 1999 and are therefore entitled to submit an application for the determination of this capital,
- Achieving a length of service similar to that in the case of pensions under the old system guarantees obtaining a pension in the minimum amount, which is especially important for people who, for example, due to low pay, accumulate relatively small amounts in their ZUS pension accounts.
Duration of service when determining the initial capital
People who worked before the pension reform came into force, that is, before January 1, 1999, have the right to determine the initial capital. This is due to the fact that in the old system, ZUS did not register pension insurance contributions to individual accounts, so it is necessary to determine a certain amount of pension capital for these years, which will affect the amount of pension that ZUS will calculate for each such person in the future.
The method of determining this capital is very complex and is explained in great detail in the law. And let us stop here and say that its final amount consists of the so-called social part and the contribution and non-contribution periods. Each of them is calculated differently, but seniority is of great importance here.
First, the documented period of work and the profits earned during this period determine the amount of this part of the initial capital. Secondly, the duration of work affects the amount of non-contributory period, which is taken into account, for which a part of the initial capital is also determined. There is a general rule that the total non-subscription periods taken into account when determining the initial capital may not exceed one-third of the subscription periods. This is especially important for people documenting many non-contribution periods – for ZUS to calculate the initial capital from all these periods, a sufficiently long contribution period is needed, especially years and months of work.
Moreover, the longer the period of non-participation in training, the greater its impact on the amount of the social part of the initial capital.
How does the length of service affect the right to a minimum pension?
Suitable work experience: 20 years for women and 25 years for men Whether for seniors for whom initial capital has been established or for those who have only started paying pension contributions since 1999, it is important to ensure a pension of no less than the minimum entitlement. Let us remind you that as of March 1, 2023, the amount is PLN 1,588.44.
If you have relatively small amounts accumulated in your ZUS account and sub-account, when determining your benefits, an amount less than the minimum pension may be calculated – which is the result of dividing the amounts accumulated in your ZUS accounts by the number of months of your life remaining after which, you will receive a large Those who have the appropriate length of service receive a minimum pension, and those who have no seniority will receive a pension with the same amount obtained from the calculation.
Will years of study at a technical school count as work experience?
In general, the study period may qualify as non-contributory periods. Unfortunately, this only applies to people who have completed higher education. In their case, the duration of study may be counted as a non-contributory period – up to a maximum period specified in the study programme, i.e. four or five years. But in practice, provided that the subscription period is long enough – here too, the rule applies that the sum of the non-subscription periods taken into account when determining the internship cannot be higher than one-third of the subscription periods.
Many people are mistakenly convinced that the period of non-participation in the length of service taken into account for retirement purposes can be taken into account for up to five years of education in a technical school. This is due to the fact that this is what is determined according to Art. 155 of the Labor Code, length of service for purposes of vacation leave.
While for the right to paid leave, the notice period for an employment contract or a jubilee award – and even an end-of-service pension bonus – the length of service includes the entire period of education, including 5 years of technical secondary school, and for example studies, 8 years are counted, In the case of work experience for retirement purposes, only the duration of “study at a university in one field, provided that this education is completed, in the amount specified in the study programme”, is included as a non-contribution period.
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