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2022 | nr 1 (ang) Social Security Systems in the Light of Demographic, Economic and Technological Challenges | 5--12
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The Determinants of the Women's Pension Gap and the Knowledge of the Structure of the Polish Pension System in the Light of the Survey Research

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Women pension gap, understood as lower retirement income for women, is a fact of life in the European countries despite policies eliminating inequalities in the areas of its basic factors, such as the gender pay gap and caring roles. Defined contribution (DC) pension systems link the amount of pension benefits more closely to the duration and intensity of professional activity than defined benefit (DB) schemes. Moreover, due to the longer life span of women, on the one hand, there is the feminization of the elderly households, and on the other hand, women are more affected by the burden of diminishing efficiency and growing needs with age. In Poland, we additionally maintain a lower retirement age for women. Research shows that financial and in-depth knowledge is essential for the decision-making process, including the field of retirement savings. Against this background, this paper aims at verification of the thesis about the insufficient knowledge of the Polish women about the pension system operation, with a special focus on the elements identified as women's pension gap determinants - including those related to motherhood and, for instance, matrimonial property of pension savings. The survey was carried out using a questionnaire based on CAWI technique and covered 600 women aged 20-60 years. The results showed a low actual knowledge of the operational principles of the Polish pension system, despite the fact that the level of declared awareness was higher. It should be noted that young people and people running their own businesses were most convinced in their knowledge of the rules for pension calculation, which, however, did not fully translate into practical knowledge. The survey showed that women do not "feel" that their position in the system is different from that of men and do not have knowledge about the areas that harm them. 43% of the surveyed women do not know that reaching the retirement age alone is not sufficient to receive retirement benefits, length of service is necessary, 45% do not know what happens to the funds accumulated for retirement in the event of divorce, and as many as 56% believe that contributions are not made during the period of parental leave. This still poses huge challenges for women's education, also in the context of family-oriented policy. (original abstract)
  • Wroclaw University of Economics and Business
  • Wroclaw University of Economics and Business
  • Wroclaw University of Economics and Business
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