Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion
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Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion

Lessons and Challenges for CESEE Countries and a Modern Europe

Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald and Helene Schuberth

Effective and well-designed structural reforms are key to shaping Europe’s future in the context of the formidable challenges facing the continent today. This book examines the achievements and failures of past structural policies so that future ones can be adapted to address remaining and newly emerging challenges with greater success. Highlighting the social aspects and distributional effects of reforms that go beyond liberalization and deregulation, the book covers key issues facing future Europe, particularly those arising from technological innovation.
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Chapter 13: Sustainable pension reforms: what can we learn from the experiences of Poland and other EU countries?

Paweł A. Strzelecki


The aim of this chapter is to draw conclusions about the political economy of pension reforms. The author analyses the changes in the Polish pension system in the years 1999_2017 and the long-term pension projections (Working Group on Ageing Populations and Sustainability by the European Commission). According to pension projections most countries have already accommodated their pension systems to future demographic changes. However, the sustainability of the reforms depends on the commitment mechanisms that make them independent from the business or political cycles. Observations for Poland suggest that sustainable reforms were introduced by new governments with budget constraints. In addition, there is a tendency to introduce measures that allow a decline in the replacement rate despite inbuilt adjustment mechanisms. This chapter also points out a role of the cyclical fluctuations of long-term macroeconomic expectations. This can be an additional factor that explains why long-term pension reforms are usually introduced during economic downturns. JEL: H55, J11, J26

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