Employee Capital Plans (ECP) are a common and voluntary savings system. This solution aims to accumulate savings for employees systematically. The funds are intended for withdrawal after reaching the age of 60 years. The funds saved in ECP are the private property of the participants. Who is involved in the Employee Capital Plans? What contracts must the employing entity establish? What are the financing rules for ECP? We provide answers to these questions below.
Table of Contents
- Employee Capital Plans – legal basis
- Employee Capital Plans – who do they apply to?
- Employee Capital Plans – ECP management agreement
- Employee Capital Plans – the agreement on operating the ECP
- Employee Capital Plans – ECP financing
Employee Capital Plans – legal basis
Matters related to ECP are regulated by the Act of 4 October 2018, on Employee Capital Plans.
- rules for accumulating funds in ECP,
- concluding ECP management agreements and ECP operation agreements,
- financing and making payments to ECP,
- making transfers, withdrawals, and returns of funds accumulated in ECP.
Employee Capital Plans – who do they apply to?
ECP covers employees, subject to mandatory pension and disability insurance, including:
- employees (individuals employed on the basis of a contract of employment, appointment, election, nomination or co-operative contract of employment),
- individuals performing outwork,
- members of agricultural production co-operatives and agricultural cooperatives,
- individuals who have reached the age of 18, performing work based on agency contracts, contracts of mandate, or other service provision contracts,
- members of supervisory boards remunerated for performing these functions,
- persons on parental leave or receiving maternity allowance or allowance in the amount of maternity allowance.
- concludes a contract for running ECP on behalf of and for a person who is under 55, unless he/she submits a relevant declaration,
- concludes a contract for running ECP on behalf of and for a person who is over 55 and under 70, only at his/her request,
- does not establish an ECP operation agreement on behalf of and for employed individuals who, at least on the first day of employment, have already turned 70.
Employee Capital Plans – ECP management agreement
The employing entity concludes an ECP management contract if it employs at least one person on behalf of whom it must conclude it in accordance with the regulations. The contract is concluded with a financial institution and has an electronic form that allows it to be recorded on a durable medium.
The employing entity chooses the financial institution in cooperation with the company trade union organization operating in this entity. If there is no company trade union in a given entity, it selects the institution after consultation with the representation of employees.
According to regulations, the choice of the financial institution for the ECP management agreement is based, in particular, on an assessment of:
- proposed terms for managing funds accumulated in ECP by financial institutions,
- the effectiveness of financial institutions in asset management,
- the experience of financial institutions in managing investment funds or pension funds.
Importantly, the ECP management agreement cannot include terms less favourable than those presented by the financial institution on the ECP portal on the day of its conclusion.
The term for concluding an ECP management agreement depends on the date of concluding an ECP operation agreement with the first employee. It must be made no later than 10 business days before that day.
The regulations specify entities exempt from the obligation to conclude an ECP management contract. These include:
- micro-businesses, if all its employees submit a declaration of resignation from ECP,
- employing entities being natural persons and hiring other natural persons not for business-related purposes, and within the scope not related to their business activity,
- entrepreneurs running Employee Pension Programs, joined by at least 25% of their employees, under conditions specified in regulations.
Employee Capital Plans – the agreement on operating the ECP
The employing entity concludes an ECP operation agreement on behalf of and for employees. The list of participants in ECP is attached to the ECP operation agreement.
The ECP operation agreement is concluded with financial institutions with which the employer has concluded an ECP management agreement.
The agreement is concluded:
- no earlier than 14 days after employment begins and
- no later than the 10th day of the month following the month in which the deadline of 3 months of employment has passed
An exception occurs when:
- the employed individual declares before this deadline not to make deposits to ECP,
- the employed individual ceases to be employed by the employing entity.
The period of employment indicated above includes periods of employment from the previous 12 months in a given entity.
Funds from ECP are accumulated in accounts managed by the financial institution chosen by the employer. The Financial Supervision Authority verifies the compliance of ECP with the law. It also supervises its compliance with the interests of system participants.
Employee Capital Plans – ECP financing
Both the employing entity and the ECP participant finance the basic payments from their own funds:
- the employing entity – in the amount of 1.5% of the remuneration,
- ECP participant – in the amount of 2% of the remuneration.
Both the employing entity and ECP participant can also declare financing additional payments:
- the employing entity – up to 2.5% of the remuneration
- ECP participant – up to 2% of the remuneration
Employee Capital Plans are used to systematically accumulate savings of the participants. It concerns employees who are subject to compulsory retirement and disability insurance. The law defines rules on the accumulation of funds and concluding ECP management and operation agreements. It also specifies regulations on financing and making payments to ECP.
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