It has come to my attention that Poland and the Poles could well be regarded as the laziest nation in the European Union and perhaps the world. Why? How? According to the latest forecasts of the Social Insurance Fund (FUS) it seems that the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) will need sizeable state subsidies in order to function in the upcoming years. The annual deficit of FUS in the period 2008-2012 will be somewhere between a staggering PLN 18.8 billion and PLN 36.7 billion. If one takes into account that the new Pensions Act may be passed this year guaranteeing intermediary pensions for miners (how ridiculous is that!) the state will have to subsidise FUS to the tune of anything between PLN 93.8 billion and PLN 183.6 billion.
FUS is actually made up of four funds – the pension fund, disability fund, accident fund and sickness fund. They are responsible for collecting contributions and paying out benefit. According to the forecast, the pension fund will have the largest deficit which will be a minimum of PLN 152.9 billion within the next five years.
One of the major reasons why this is the case is the fact that the average real age of retirement in Poland is 58.7 for men and 56 for women, the lowest age of retirement in the world. Poland also has the lowest number of working people between the ages of 55 and 64 in the European Union (27% compared with 42.2% in the EU).
I have always wondered why there are so many national holidays in Poland and always been annoyed at the work ethic (i.e. the lack of one) in this country. These statistics just bring the scary truth home to me. Poland either has to buck its ideas up and get to work or fall behind. Just imagine what could happen if they became the hardest working country in the world. The potential for change is more than just significant…