According to the budget plan, the subsidy to the Social Insurance Fund was initially supposed to cost PLN 59.5 billion. The fund’s financial results are so good, however, that the management board of ZUS is preparing a decision to abandon almost one-third of the subsidies.
It is already known today that it will be PLN 19.5 billion lower. And unofficially it is said that this amount may increase even more.
– ZUS does not need a part of the subsidy, e.g. because the efficiency of the Social Insurance Fund, i.e. the ability to cover current expenses with current receipts, is currently 81 percent. This is very positive data – says “DGP” prof. Gertruda Uścińska, president of the Social Insurance Institution.
In her opinion, they indicate, first of all, the effectiveness of aid measures under the anti-crisis shield. – A dozen or so months ago we were in a completely different place. We did not know what impact the COVID-19 epidemic would have on the economy. Now we can see that the aid measures have brought the expected effect in the form of protection of companies and employees who are now paying contributions – emphasizes the president of ZUS.
He reminds that the amount of support from ZUS has so far been approx. PLN 40 billion. – From the beginning of the anti-crisis shield, the pension authority exempted from contributions for about PLN 15.5 billion and paid out parking benefits in the amount of PLN 6.5 billion. ZUS clients also benefited from postponing the payment of contributions and installment arrangements for a total amount of almost PLN 15 billion – he enumerates. As a result, the number of people insured with ZUS not only has not decreased, but is also higher than before the epidemic, which is reflected in the inflows to the Social Insurance Institution (see the infographic).
Grzegorz Kuliś, labor market expert and president of the management board of the Weegree employment agency, reminds that this is not the first time that ZUS has given up part of the budget subsidy to the Social Insurance Fund. This was the case, for example, in 2018. As he emphasizes, the Social Insurance Fund’s finances were helped by the e-contribution reform, which assumed that the payer transfers all receivables to ZUS to one account. By the way, the principle was also introduced that the arrears are first settled from the money paid in.
And what influenced the better condition of the Social Insurance Fund this year? Like the president of ZUS, the expert points to the anti-crisis shield in this context, which improved the economic situation in the Polish economy and directly translated into an increase in employment. – This is shown by both the data of the Central Statistical Office and the Social Insurance Institution – he emphasizes. In his opinion, the growing pressure on the increase in wages, which results, among others, from from alarmingly high inflation.
This is confirmed by Monika Fedorczuk, an expert on the labor market of the Lewiatan Confederation. – The latest GUS data on wages show that the average wage is growing. In October 2021, it amounted to PLN 5,797.04 gross. In turn, higher salaries also mean higher contributions to the Social Insurance Institution – summarizes the Lewiatan expert.
According to the commentators, the improvement of the condition of the fund is also influenced by foreigners working in Poland, the number of which is constantly increasing. – As long as they work legally, they pay their contributions in the same way from their salaries, in accordance with the applicable regulations – indicates Monika Fedorczuk.
Katarzyna Lorenc, BCC expert in labor market, management and work efficiency, confirms that employment is growing and many new jobs are created. He also admits that more and more people who worked illegally, including foreigners, are officially employed by employers. As he points out, this is an element of the fight for an employee.
Are smaller subsidies to the Social Insurance Fund from the budget a constant trend? – It would be ideal for the fund to function without subsidies at all, but looking at demographic trends, it seems impossible – says Grzegorz Kuliś.
According to Katarzyna Lorenc, the situation on the labor market is far from ideal. – There are a lot of vacancies in companies all the time. We have low unemployment, but at the same time 44 percent. people don’t work at all. We have one of the lowest rates of professional activity in the European Union – he emphasizes.
He also points out that activating people who have been outside the labor market for a long time is a very expensive investment for companies. At the same time, he criticizes the support of labor offices in this area.
– For example, in France, such units take care of the pre-selection of people, their training, so that companies bear the lowest possible cost of adapting them to work. In the United States, an official comes to the company to consider what employees to provide, how to prepare them for work in this particular enterprise, and what pre-selection criteria to apply. It is completely different with us. The employer is a petitioner in the office, not a partner – he adds.
Dziennik Gazeta Prawna