The pandemic crisis has forced many people to reach for savings, including those put aside for retirement. According to the data of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), in the first half of 2020, from as many as 242,000 IKE and IKZE accounts, early payments were made to persons who were under 60/65 years of age. There were nine times more such operations than in the same period last year. However, the coronavirus is not the only cause of this situation. The decision to pay out was certainly facilitated by the launch of the PPK program, competitive to IKE and IKZE.
Some people may have come to the conclusion that since money is saved in the PPK for their retirement, then those from IKE or IKZE can be used for another purpose. The advent of the pandemic added more people who were forced to make a payment.
The accumulation of these two phenomena led to the largest wave of payments from IKE and IKZE in history. Combining in the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2020, 355,663 early withdrawals were made from IKE and IKZE accounts. They affected as many as a quarter of all IKE and IKZE accounts and in the vast majority of them they were withdrawals of all accumulated money.
The total value of withdrawals was PLN 201 million in the second half of 2019 and PLN 277 million in the first half of 2020. It was therefore not as impressive as the number, as it accounts for only 3 percent of the amount invested in IKE and IKZE. So it seems that the payments were made primarily by those who did not manage to accumulate large savings on IKE or IKZE, e.g. young people. It is also worth adding that despite the payments, the total amount allocated to IKE and IKZE increased to PLN 14.3 billion (from PLN 12.2 billion a year before).
Withdrawals made from 355,000 IKE and IKZE accounts are not the best information. It means that hundreds of thousands of people may have lower pensions in the future. After all, IKE and IKZE save money to improve the standard of living in old age. Since in the future the amount of the benefit from ZUS is to constitute only about 25 percent of the last salary, additional savings are necessary to pay out an additional pension, which will allow you to maintain the standard of living at an earlier level.