POLAND - The proposal to take funds from Poland's mandatory second pillar and transfer them into the state pension "will not be realised" following talks between prime minister Donald Tusk and representatives of the country's pension funds, Dariusz Stanko, advisor to the president of the Polish Chamber of Pension Funds IGTE, has told IPE.

The prime minister had issued a statement after the meeting in which he criticised fees and performance in the second pillar, but Stanko said pension funds had mixed reactions to the talks.

He said: "The criticism was expected, and this is the politicians talking, but it also meant the prime minister started to talk to the pension funds directly."

One positive outcome of the meeting, he said, is that the proposal by the finance ministry will not be introduced, he said.

"This is good news for pension funds and especially pensioners, as this suggestion would have been highly unfavourable for pensioners," Stanko said.

"They would have been much more dependent on the state's ability to pay pensions."

Other possible improvements to the mandatory second pillar could include switching from an internal benchmark to an external one for assessing pension funds, and the introduction of a lifecycle model - which would automatically lead to a change in investment regulations with higher equity exposures, he said.

"It is difficult to change one part of the system without affecting others - so we need the whole package," Stanko said.

This package, consisting of proposals by pension funds and academics led by professor Marek Gora from the Warsaw School of Economics, is currently being assessed by the prime minister's office.

It also includes possible changes to the fee structure to link the remuneration of pension fund administrators more closely with pension funds' performance, as well as a possible ban on customers acquisition, which last year cost more than €100m.

Stanko said he was optimistic the September deadline set by the prime minister for first proposals could be kept.

"Things are moving in the right direction, and they will help to improve the system, which could become a model for other countries."