The Employee Capital Plans scheme (Polish: Pracownicze Play Kapitałowe, PPK) is a voluntary and fully private system of long-term savings intended for employees. It also entails a new obligation that must be met by employers, and in particular their HR, payroll, and accounting departments.
In many cases, it will be more advantageous for an entrepreneur to seek third-party support for processes related to Employee Capital Plans. An accounting office specializing in HR and payroll services has the best-suited system solutions that meet the requirements imposed by the Act on Employee Capital Plans. Rules that the Act on Employee Capital Plans imposes on employers not only establish a number of new duties but also provide for painful sanctions for failure to comply with them.
The HR and payroll teams of MDDP Outsourcing, working on a daily basis in Warsaw and Katowice, provide entrepreneurs from all over the country with support in the ongoing operation of Employee Capital Plans.
As part of the comprehensive services related to Employee Capital Plans, we offer you:
As an experienced provider of HR and payroll services, we also make sure that services related to employee capital plans are carried out in accordance with the ever-changing regulations. We constantly invest in expanding our experts’ knowledge and scope of competencies. This knowledge is available to you throughout the whole service period, without the need for training your in-house HR and Payroll Department in a field that has not been part of its regular duties to date.
After the expiry of the interim regulations that were in force until May 2021, employers who started business in 2021 or later or have lost the right to be exempted (from the obligation to launch Employee Capital Plans) shall implement Employee Capital Plans within the time limits as provided for in the general provisions.
These provisions are laid down in Art. 16 and Art. 8(1) of the Act on Employee Capital Plans. In short, new entities are required to conclude an Employee Capital Plan management agreement on behalf of an employed person after the lapse of the third month of their employment, no later than by the tenth day of the month following the month in which a 90-day employment period lapsed. Obviously, this obligation applies unless the employed person submits a declaration to opt-out of the scheme before the expiry of this period. It should be remembered that employment periods in a given entity in the previous 12 months are counted towards the aforementioned 90-day period.
The general provisions (Articles 16 and 8) should also be thoroughly analyzed and applied by entities that, under the Act, previously took advantage of an exemption from implementing Employee Capital Plans or did not have to implement them (as having no grounds for remitting social security (ZUS) contributions).
These entities must review whether the circumstances that allowed them to use an exemption from the implementation of Employee Capital Plans have not changed during the course of their business activities.
The exemption was available to micro-entrepreneurs, entities with Employee Pension Plans (Polish: Pracownicze Plany Emerytalne, PPE) in place, or those that did not have to remit obligatory social security contributions.
Micro-entrepreneurs lose the right to the exemption if:
• they lose the micro-entrepreneur status (as per the definition of a micro-entrepreneur provided in Art. 7(1)(1) of the Entrepreneurs’ Law Act; special attention should be paid to the fact that the average annual employment is calculated on an FTE basis);
• despite the micro-entrepreneur status, they employ a person who does not opt-out of the Employee Capital Plans scheme;
• one of the employed persons (e.g. among those who previously submitted a declaration to opt-out) submits to the employer a declaration requesting that contributions are paid to the Employee Capital Plan or all of the employed persons fail to submit another declaration to opt-out of Employee Capital Plans every 4 years (starting from 1 April 2023).
On the other hand, entities with Employee Pensions Plans in place must check the participation rate in these Plans twice a year (1 January and 1 July).
And verify on ongoing basis compliance with the other conditions listed in Art. 133 of the Act on Employee Capital Plans, since the employing entity cannot use the exemption from the implementation of Employee Capital Plans from the date of:
• suspension of the calculation and payment of basic contributions to Employee Pension Plans in a period exceeding 90 days;
• limitation of the number of basic contributions paid to Employee Pension Plans below 3.5%;
• discontinuation of Employee Pension Plans;
• delay in paying basic contributions to Employee Pension Plans exceeding 90 days which resulted from intentional actions of the employing entity.
Enrolment in the Employee Capital Plans scheme is voluntary. Employees themselves can decide not only whether they wish to enroll in Employee Capital Plans, but also at what point they would like to do so. They may also opt-out of participation in the Employee Capital Plan at any time.
The method of enrolling in the Employee Capital Plans scheme depends on the fulfillment of the criteria provided for in the regulations:
Individuals over 18 years of age and under 55 years of age subject to mandatory retirement and disability pension insurance due to employment with a given employer will be enrolled in the Employee Capital Plans scheme automatically.
Individuals over 55 years of age and under 70 years of age subject to mandatory retirement and disability pension insurance due to employment with a given employer can enroll in the Employee Capital Plans scheme upon request submitted to the employer. People over the age of 70 cannot enroll in the Employee Capital Plans scheme.
An employee can opt-out of the Employee Capital Plans scheme by submitting a written declaration to opt-out of Employee Capital Plan contributions to his or her employer. The declaration template is included in the Regulation of the Minister of Finance of 12 June 2019 on the Declaration to Opt-out of Contributions to Employee Capital Plans.
However, it should be remembered that a declaration to opt-out of Employee Capital Plan contributions needs to be submitted to the employer every 4 years. This is because as of 1 April 2023, each employee who previously opted out of participation in the Employee Capital Plans scheme will be automatically re-enrolled.
For each employee saving under an Employee Capital Plan, the financial institution selected by their employer opens a private personal account in which their savings are accumulated. This institution provides each participant of the Employee Capital Plans scheme with online access to a system where the participants can at any time check the balance of funds in their account and manage these funds. The login details are sent as soon as saving starts. One needs to bear in mind that the process of granting access to the system looks different in every financial institution.
An employee will put aside 2% of his or her remuneration out of his or her own pocket. The employee will also be able to declare an additional contribution of up to 2% of the remuneration. They can therefore declare that a maximum of 4% should be deducted from their remuneration (the basic contribution plus the voluntary contribution).
An employee will be able to reduce the basic contribution (2%) if he or she earns low remuneration from various sources, i.e. less than 1.2 times the minimum remuneration. If this is the case, the minimum basic contribution cannot be lower than 0.5%.
An employee will be able to withdraw the savings accumulated in their account after they turn 60 years of age. The most favorable form of withdrawal (no tax liability incurred) will then be a one-time withdrawal of 25% of the savings accumulated, whereas the remaining 75% of the savings will be disbursed in monthly installments spread over a minimum of 10 years.
The employee will also be able to withdraw all accumulated funds at once or in a smaller number of installments. However, such a withdrawal will entail the need to pay tax on capital gains.
The regulations also provide for other options for the withdrawal of accumulated savings in the following cases:
A participant of the Employee Capital Plans scheme, their spouse or child comes down with a serious illness; in that case, there is a possibility of withdrawing up to 25% of the funds saved without the obligation to repay them.
Financing of own contribution in connection with the construction or reconstruction of a residential building or the purchase of a flat or land by individuals under 45 years of age; in that case, there is a possibility of withdrawing up to 100% of saved funds with the obligation to repay them. The time limit to repay the funds must start running no later than 5 years from the withdrawal of the funds and may not exceed 15 years from the date of the withdrawal. It will be possible to make this type of withdrawal only once.
Zarówno emeryci jak i renciści, którzy otrzymują wynagrodzenie w rozumieniu przepisów PPK również mają prawo do uczestnictwa w programie. Dotyczy to jednak tych osób, które nie ukończyły 70 roku Both retirement and disability pensioners who receive remuneration within the meaning of the provisions on Employee Capital Plans also have the right to participate in the scheme. However, this applies to those under the age of 70.
Individuals over the age of 70 cannot enroll in the Employee Capital Plans scheme.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our offer, we highly encourage you to contact us or one of our stationary accounting offices: in Warsaw (Mazovian District) or in Katowice (Silesian District).
MDDP Outsourcing Experts remain at your disposal. We will be glad to answer any inquiries regarding our services, offer quotations and other issues related to our company.
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