Survey: 20 percent of people to withdraw money from second pillar ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

€200 bill.
€200 bill. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The results of the monitoring of Kantar Emor's pension reform in October show that 51 percent of people who joined the second pillar intend to continue but 21 percent of respondents plan to withdraw their money.

Those who would withdraw the money said they would mainly use it to repay loans or for home-related expenses, such as repairs.

The aggregate data, which questioned more than 8,100 Pillar II users, showed that young people and those with higher incomes and higher education are more in favor of continuing with Pillar II. Approximately 20 percent of people said they had not decided. 

Heidi Reinson, leading expert in behavioral sciences at Kantar Emor, said it should be kept in mind that people sometimes think too optimistically about the future and their own behavior.

"The survey took place just before the decision of the Supreme Court, in the coming months we will see how the entry into force of the law and also the specifications of implementation will shape people's views," she said.

Kantar Emor has been measuring residents' attitudes towards the second pension pillar every month since December 2020. The number of people in favor of continuing with the second pillar has not changed significantly during this time - consistently close to 50 percent.

The October survey took place as an online interview from October 4 - 18, and 1,026 Estonian residents aged 18–74 participated in the survey.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the coalition's pensions reform bill was not unconstitutional.

The Tartu-based top-tier court rejected President Kersti Kaljulaid's case that the bill, passed by the Riigikogu earlier this year, was unconstitutional in that it treated members of the so-called second pillar of the Estonian pension scheme – referring to employer/employee contributions – differently from those who would opt out of the pillar on the basis of the bill, or who had never joined it in the first place.

The second pillar had been mandatory for most Estonian wage earners since 2010, but the pension reform bill will make membership optional.

The bill was the brainchild of the Isamaa party, who managed to get its inclusion into the coalition agreement signed with Center and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia in late April 2019.

Applicants would be able to reimburse their pension pot for any pension agreement concluded before January 1 2021.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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