2398480155_162451e36c

European Pension Funds – Polish Pensions Hardest Hit

11 – I Am Jumping
unemployment fund
Image by Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It.
Freedom Park Township, Johannesburg, South Africa
Walter takes a moment to jump with the more than 250 preschool students he works with through his Venture, Freedom Park Youth Class. Inspired by his own childhood struggles to become literate, Walter has brought together hundreds of high-school age mentors to teach English language basics like the alphabet, numbers, shapes and days of the week to preschool-age students using games, music, singing and dancing. He also uses the opportunity to educate the high school mentors on issues like HIV/AIDS prevention and teen pregnancy. In a South African economy that oftentimes posts unemployment rates of up to seventy percent, Walter has worked to fund his position, turning a passion for social change into a fulfilling livelihood.

The global economic downturn has affected pensions all over the world, but up until now Central European pensions seemed to have braved the storm. There is a chance that European governments could use the recession as an excuse to U-turn on urgent pension reforms.

According to data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), private pension funds lost a staggering twenty-three per cent of their value in 2008. The stock marker collapse has developed into an economic crisis, with pension funds falling from declining and earnings and rising unemployment denting pension contributions. Public pensions are being affected by the rise in unemployment benefits and fiscal stimulus packages putting a strain on the public purse.

The largest of the private pension fund losses was felt in Ireland, where losses of thirty-seven per cent were recorded. The Czech Republic experienced the smallest losses below ten per cent.

Stock markets across the world have plummeted since last year, so the diverse range of private pension fund losses can’t be explained by relative losses in the markets. How these pension funds were invested seems to be the deciding factor. While stock markets in OECD countries fell by around forty-five per cent in 2008, Government bonds tended to rise, with the international index up by over seven per cent in 2008.

The countries whose pension funds invested more in bonds than in stocks like the Czech Republic and Slovakia seemed to have fared better than English-speaking countries where pension funds tended to be invested in equities.

Poland’s private pension funds lost more than other Central European countries because of a law which was supposed to aid the Polish stock market. Open Pension Funds (OPFs) are limited to investing only five per cent of their assets outside Poland. While this had meant the Warsaw Stock Exchange is important to the region, but the over-population of funds in the local market drove the over-valuation of Polish stocks; a bubble which burst when the economic crisis swept through.

While private financial sources make up over forty per cent of retirement incomes in Australia, Canada, the UK and US, they only make up five per cent of incomes in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

For younger workers in these areas though, pensions are expected to provide a significant chunk of retirement incomes. Pension funds being resilient to turbulent economic conditions is of paramount importance for this new breed of worker, as they save for retirement.

John McE writes on behalf of the Pensions Regulator, which is the UK regulator of work-based pension schemes.

Working to improve confidence in work-based pensions by protecting members’ benefits and encouraging high standards and good practice in running pension schemes.

3476341223_1eff04ea49

Unemployment Funds- aid in adverse conditions

Unemployment Fund Advertising
unemployment fund
Image by jacobchristensen
Trade Union 3F advertising for the unemployment fund (note to non-Danish viewers: Unemployment insurance is voluntary in Denmark)

Prior planning is always an aid and can help you to get out of any adverse situation. Unemployment funds are one among them which can help you when you are thrown out of employment and seeking for job. As being a professional you also realize the risk which is associated with the market and which directly influence your job as there is no guarantee of permanent employment in private sector and even you may lose your job due to poor performance and any misconduct.

You can plan for these uncertainties beforehand by undertaking unemployment funds, which can help you by providing financial assistance during the course when you are running out of funds and can help you to reduce your stress level and enable you in combating the difficult time. You can utilize these funds to carry out your normal expenses.

Both employed and self employed professionals can avail for this fund and even you can avail for these funds after you are fired. There are various different schemes running in the market A-kasse is one among them which can even help you when you are fired. You need to pay a fix monthly installment during the course when you are employed. The amount for the installment can be chosen by you.

For the ones who get regular pay can easily pay the installments but the self employed ones find it difficult to avail for the funds, they may undergo A-kasse, which is a cheap unemployment fund and especially meant for the self employed professionals and the ones who find it difficult to pay heavy installments.

These funds are multipurpose in use and are meant to help you at the time you are stuck in difficult situations. The condition when you need to avail for these funds may differ, you can avail for the benefits of these funds when you are on long duration leave due to sickness or on maternity leave, you can avail for the funds.
You can avail for A-kasse which is more than an unemployment fund. These funds also help you in seeking job and helps in enhancing your skills by providing you job related training which can help you to get the job easily and even provide facilities of discounts in various companies and sport events. You can find more information regarding these funds at a-kasse.me and you can understand the process of availing to these funds by logging over here.

Prepare yourself before getting into unemployment by undertaking A-kasse which is one of the best unemployment scheme, you can visit a-kasse.me and scrutinize for the various plans which you can undertake and plan for adverse situations beforehand.