Billions in pensioners' debts. Early retirement can mean an increase

Nearly PLN 3.2 billion is the debt of over 238 thousand pensioners listed in the National Debt Register. Lowering the retirement age from 1 October 2017 may mean an increase in the number of indebted pensioners and their debts. A lot will depend on the decisions of the seniors themselves, because one of the most frequent reasons for getting into debt is the low income.

The database of the National Debt Register of the Economic Information Bureau shows that pensioners listed in the Debt Register have more than half a million unpaid liabilities to pay, totalling almost PLN 3.2 billion. The average debt exceeds PLN 13 thousand and the record holder has PLN 8.38 million to give back.

- Unfortunately, these numbers may increase. According to ZUS data, 83 percent of Poles retire as soon as they reach the appropriate age. This suggests that the majority of beneficiaries will make use of this option, which will result in a significant reduction in the financial resources available to them. As a result, some of them may simply not be able to settle their previous liabilities - believes Adam Łącki, President of the Management Board of the National Debt Register.

The reasons for pensioners' indebtedness have remained unchanged for years: reduced income after retirement, use by the family to make commitments and higher mortality rates for men. In the near future, this first factor in particular may be very important.

From the first October 2017, the law of the previous government on the gradual extension of working time to 67 years will cease to apply. Thus, women aged 60 to 61 and 4 months and men aged 65 to 66 and 4 months will be entitled to a pension.

- Retirees are a very popular group of payers. They have a constant and reliable source of monthly income. Moreover, most of them try to settle their obligations on time. However, the earlier they decide to retire, the lower the benefits they receive. In some cases, this can mean increased problems with household budget tensions, financial difficulties and, in effect, debts. That is why it is worthwhile to conscientiously calculate your finances before deciding on early retirement," adds the President of the KRD.

Financial problems of seniors

In KRD BIG, the largest number of seniors' debts to financial institutions. Liabilities to banks and loan companies that are not paid on time represent more than 20 percent. The debt to securitisation funds and debt collection companies is twice as large. These are usually also debts to lenders, but sold to secondary creditors. Pensioners also do not pay their bills for the apartment, water, electricity or gas and for TV, internet or telephone.

Silesia a disgraceful leader, bigger debts of women

In terms of voivodship, three regions are leading in the infamous ranking - Lower Silesia, Mazovia and Silesia. They are inhabited by 24.6, 29.9 and more than 38 thousand debtors with debts of PLN 315, 445.5 and 536 million respectively. Thus, only these three provinces account for less than 39 percent of the number of debtors and 41 percent of total debt.

While in the case of all consumers entered in the National Debt Register database, the majority of debtors are men (63.5%), in the case of pensioners the situation is the opposite. The share of women in the group of indebted seniors reaches almost 62%. Retirees with unpaid liabilities that have been entered into the National Court Register are over 147 thousand and their total debt exceeds PLN 1.9 billion.

- This situation is the result of several factors. Ladies retire faster and live longer. In 2016, men in Poland lived on average 73.9 years, while women lived 81.9 years. This means that there are simply more pensioners in Poland than pensioners. In addition, it often happens that at the time of the death of the husband, the widow is forced to pay her joint liabilities. One pension instead of two makes it much more difficult - adds Łącki.

In January 2017, the number of pensioners entered in the National Debt Register was approximately 233 thousand, and the total debt of persons entered in the Debt Register reached PLN 2.87 billion. This means that the number of debtors has increased by more than 2 percent, but their debt has increased by more than 10 percent during this time.



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