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In Poland Lawmakers adopt lower retirement age

The opposition fears the lower retirement age will have costly consequences, as the state already subsidises pensions in part

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Poland's Prime minister Beata Szydlo said the new pension reforms were accounted for in the country's budget play

Poland's Prime minister Beata Szydlo said the new pension reforms were accounted for in the country's budget

(AFP/File)

Polish lawmakers on Wednesday voted to reinstate a lower retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women starting in 2018, despite questions over its effect on public finances.

The governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party promised the measure during its 2015 election campaign, after the previous liberal administration gradually raised the retirement age to 67.

"Funding for all the reforms, including that of the pension system, is guaranteed in the budget," Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told parliament, quoted by the Polish news agency PAP.

But the opposition fears the lower retirement age will have costly consequences, as the state already subsidises pensions in part.

"When you tell Poles there'll be earlier retirement, that means a starving retirement -- already today. For future generations, it means no pension at all," said lawmaker Paulina Hennig-Kloski from the Nowoczesna opposition party.

The PiS government already adopted its flagship project, a child allowance programme that gives families a monthly 500 zlotys ($120, 110 euros) for every child after the first.

The programme will cost 17 billion zlotys ($4.0 billion, 3.8 billion euros) this year and 24 billion zlotys next year.

The government also passed a law making some medications free for residents over the age of 75.

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