The Law of April 28, 2022 on the Principles of Implementation of Tasks Financed from European Funds in the Financial Perspective 2021-2027 (Journal of Laws 2022, item 1079, as amended) introduced numerous modifications to the Law on Employee Capital Plans (poln. PPK) (Journal of Laws 2020, item 1342, as amended) and the Law on the State Labor Inspectorate (poln. PIP) (Journal of Laws 2019, item 1251, as amended). The modifications, effective June 4, 2022, include, among others, changes to the deadline for enrollment of a new employee in the PPK, transfer of funds, definition of the employing entity, payments to the PPK, and new rights of the State Labor Inspectorate (poln. PIP).
Hiring a new employee and PPK enrollment
An important change in the amendment is the entitlement of the employing entity to enroll a newly hired employee in the PPK after just 14 days of employment.
Previously, enrollment of an employee in the program was only possible after 3 months. However, the maximum time for enrolling a new employee in PPK still expires on the 10th day of the month following the month in which the 3-month period of employment expired.
However, enrolling an employee in the PPK after 14 days of employment is the employer’s right, not his obligation.
Transfer of savings
Another element of the changes introduced is the date on which a newly hired employee submits a statement of the PPK agreements made on his behalf.
Previously, the employee realized this obligation after 3 months of employment. Now, a newly hired person is required to submit such a statement within 7 days from the date of the employee’s enrollment in the PPK by the employer.
Change in the definition of the employing entity
In this regard, the implemented changes consist of adding a definition of “identification number” and giving the status of an employing entity to the payer of social security contributions – in the case of employers without an identification number.
The identification number within the meaning of the PPK Law is currently the NIP or REGON number.
Payments to PPK
In its new wording, the PPK Law allows employers to make PPK contributions starting from the date on which the contributions were accrued and collected (and thus even in the same month as the employee’s PPK enrollment).
The additional payment, on the other hand, like most other declarations made by the employee, is effective from the month following the month in which the declaration was made.
Significant changes have also been made to the welcome payment (there has been an extension of the deadline by 15 days for transferring the welcome payment to the employee’s account) and the annual surcharge. Some of the changes will not take effect until November 21, 2022.
New rights of the State Labor Inspectorate
From June 4, 2022. The State Labor Inspectorate has been given the ability to inspect, among other things:
- compliance with the prohibition on inducing employees to opt out of the PPK program;
- conclusion of the PPK management agreement on time;
- making timely payments to PPK;
- keeping records related to the calculation of PPK payments.
Violations of obligations under the PPK Law, which the PIP is authorized to enforce, may be sanctioned by a fine of up to PLN 2,000.
Let’s not forget other sanctions under the PPK Law, such as a fine of up to 1.5% of the employer’s salary fund for failure to conclude a management agreement within the statutory deadline.
Other crucial changes
- micro-entrepreneurs have been required to submit a statement on exemption from the PPK Law at the request of the Polish Development Fund (poln. PFR);
- limited the scope of information provided to hiring entities by financial institutions;
- the PFR was given the authority to use data from PPK records.
What should employers remember right now?
First and foremost, to conclude a PPK management agreement or verify that they meet all the conditions necessary for exemption from the obligation to conclude such an agreement. Closely related to the introduction of the PPK program to the organization is the employee’s enrollment or declaration of resignation – in this case, remember the absolute prohibition on discouraging an employee from enrolling in PPK. It seems that this aspect will now be particularly verified by the PIP. We can enroll an employee in PPK already after 14 days of employment, but no later than after 3 months. Employers should also pay attention to changes in PPK contributions – the accounting department may need to intervene.
Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., trainee attorney-at-law (PL)