Polish households savings for future life on pension

Malgorzata Roszkiewicz, Warsaw School of Economics
Jolanta Perek-Bialas, Jagiellonian University

The changes of pension system (due to population ageing) in Poland poses questions concerning how the savings and saving behaviour are perceived in the Polish society. We use data from our own study carried out from 1998 to 2004 (qualitative – 4 series of panel focus groups interviews in 2000 and 2001 and quantitative – in 1998, 2001 and 2005 with about 1305 respondents). The results of all these studies allow us to conclude that savings as an asset, possession of which may be considered by a household, is not common and is not extensively acquired. The more, since the time of the pension system reform has been implemented in 1999, a decrease in propensity to save, measured by the frequency of declarations that the households saved, could be observed. In 1998, 32.4% of households declared saving a certain amount from the current income. In 2001 that percentage was only 24.1% and in 2004, 25,1%. No significant change in the declared saving rate was recorded though. In addition, the longitudinal approach contained in the hypothesis of life cycle is reflected in the data gathered through the observation of Polish households, which shows a general tendency towards a fluctuating possibility to save in consecutive phases of the family life cycle. According to life cycle hypotheses empirical data indicate that the greatest possibility to save was enjoyed by those households having achieved the phase of “empty nest 1”. Additionally, according to the concept of hierarchical financial behaviour, the enlargement of household reserves through the creation of material wealth takes place in this phase of the family life cycle, after which the process slows down. But, in contrary with theoretical regularities, saving behaviours were continued during retirement (the phase of “empty nest 2”).

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Presented in Poster Session 1