27 February 2020

Statistically, an average Pole expects to live 77 years. In this respect, we are the biggest pessimists among the inhabitants of the ten European countries that took part in the survey conducted by Insurance Europe in cooperation with the Polish Chamber of Insurance. Perhaps that is why it is not important to so many of us to save up for retirement.

The survey shows that 47% of Poles are not saving up for retirement. One in four of us doesn’t see the need to do so. Those who are saving seem to have a very optimistic outlook on the future. Among the inhabitants of all the surveyed countries, we have the most certainty that the funds accumulated will be sufficient for us in case we live longer than we expect. This was declared by more than a half of the respondents from Poland. Only slightly fewer people believe that in the event of their premature death, the savings will provide financial security for their closest relatives.

Saving for retirement – it doesn’t pay to wait!

‘In the midst of everyday matters, it is easy to put aside thoughts about the future, especially if we live well and are full of strength. However, it pays to ensure, already now, our security during retirement, as well as the security of our loved ones in the event of our inability to continue working, or even death. One of the best ways to do this is to have long-term savings and purchase a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, the Polish life insurance market has been shrinking for a long time. According to PIU data, after Q3 2019, the value of the premium decreased again by 3.1%’. – commented Piotr Wrzesiński, expert at the Polish Chamber of Insurance. – ‘The offer of private savings schemes by insurers is an important pillar in the pension system. It is characterised by additional protection against various risks, so it is worth considering’ – added Piotr Wrzesiński.

A narrow perspective

Poles who decide to buy a private pension product pay attention primarily to its costs, which are crucial for 68% of us. Compared to other European citizens, we attach relatively high importance to benefits (48% compared to the average for other countries surveyed, which stood at 43%). However, we do not look at investing from a broader perspective. Only 30% of respondents from Poland analyse the results of a pension product before choosing it. By comparison, almost 70% of respondents do so in Hungary.

Security and flexibility above all

When saving for retirement, we expect above all the security of investment. This was declared by almost a half of the respondents from Poland. It is also important for us to be able to inherit the funds saved by our loved ones (46%) and to withdraw the funds when we need them, even before we retire (43%). In addition, one in four respondents would like to get all their savings in a single disbursement so that they can manage them themselves. In this respect, only the respondents from Spain outrank us. The least interesting aspect for us is the so-called responsible investment, i.e. the impact of investments on the environment and society (8%).

Need for education

‘The results of our survey conducted jointly with Insurance Europe show the growing importance of financial education. Poles need to understand the need for additional savings for retirement, as well as the importance of security in the event of unforeseen events’ – commented Iwona Szczęsna, manager of the international cooperation team at the Polish Chamber of Insurance.