12.02.2021 PPK

[Poland] Employee Capital Plans for the smallest companies

Since 1 January 2021, 850 thousand micro-companies have been obliged to implement Employee Capital Plans (PPK). How to prepare for PPK implementation and what is the deadline for concluding the required agreements?

The implementation of Employee Capital Plans consists of several stages. Currently, Phase IV of the programme has begun, and involves the implementation of PPK in micro-enterprises, i.e., entities employing less than 20 people as of 31.12.2019, and public institutions.

However, the smallest companies may be exempt from this obligation if they enjoy the status of micro-entrepreneurs and all their employees make a declaration to opt out of the programme.

According to the Entrepreneurs’ Law, a micro-entrepreneur is an entity which at least in one year out of the last two financial years jointly met the following conditions:

  • had fewer than 10 employees on average per year, and
  • generated an annual net turnover from sales of goods, products and services as well as from financial operations of up to the PLN equivalent of EUR 2 million, or its balance sheet assets as at the end of one of those years did not exceed the PLN equivalent of EUR 2 million.

If a company enjoys the status of a micro-entrepreneur, but at least one person does not resign, the implementation of PPK must be carried out. Such an obligation will also arise when an entity which has not been obliged to establish a program hires an employee who will want to save in PPK.

It is worth noting that the Act on Employee Capital Plans penalizes inducement to resign from the PPK.

Learn more: Incitement to withdraw from the Employee Capital Plans (PPK) and penalties for it.

PPK in microbusiness – who does it apply to and what are the deadlines?

Companies obliged to implement Employee Capital Plans under Phase IV have the same obligations as larger entities which implemented the scheme earlier. The first step is to select a financial institution to run PPK and sign an agreement to manage the programme. The next step is to sign an agreement to run PPK.

The deadlines for the PPK implementation in microfirms are as follows:

  • PPK management agreement – by 23 April 2021 at the latest,
  • PPK running agreement – maximum until 10 May 2021.

The PPK implementation also requires the implementation of PPK administration processes and preparation for the ongoing operation of the programme.

Employee Capital Plans implementation stages for micro-enterprises

In addition to the required agreements with the selected financial institution, a micro-entrepreneur who implements PPK must also fulfil other obligations related to the programme, including providing ongoing operation and conducting an information campaign for employees.

PPK implementation stages for micro-enterprises:

  • JANUARY – MARCH 2021: Selection of financial institution plus information campaign
  • MARCH – APRIL 2021: Implementation of PPK administration processes
  • MAY 2020: Ongoing PPK administration

Selection of the financial institution and information campaign

The selection of the Financial Institution and the information campaign is the first stage of the preparations for PPK implementation. It should start with the selection of the representation of employees who will select the Financial Institution. Having chosen the Institution and having signed the agreement on PPK management, the employer shall be obliged to carry out an information campaign for employees. It is worth remembering to prepare the necessary documentation of this process, as it will certainly prove useful during a PIP audit. The first stage ends with signing the PPK management agreement.

Implementation of PPK administration processes

As part of the implementation of the PPK administration processes, the entrepreneur should adapt the company’s internal procedures to the PPK requirements, i.e.:

  • include PPK information obligations in onboarding and HR services,
  • establish and implement a process for the circulation of PPK documentation,
  • determine how to create participant lists, register new participants and process employee declaration data to transfer the relevant data to payroll,
  • determine the extent and manner of data exchange with the financial institution and potential use of the financial institution’s systems.

Ongoing PPK administration

The final stage is to launch the Employee Capital Plans programme. The ongoing PPK administration includes activities such as:

  • ongoing registration of new participants and processing of declaration data of employees,
  • execution of the transfer payment processes,
  • keeping the compliance with information obligations,
  • verification of 1.2 times the minimum wage (with a declaration of reduction of the employee’s basic contribution),
  • calculation of PPK contributions on the payroll,
  • adjustment of contributions to PPK, inter alia, in the event of submission of a declaration on resignation from PPK,
  • exchange of data with the Financial Institution concerning PPK (13 files within the Standard recommended by the PPK Project Group),
  • auto-enrolment every 4 years – from 2023.

Fines for failure to implement PPK

If a company or entrepreneur hiring employees, or a person acting on its behalf, fails to comply with the obligation to conclude a PPK management agreement within the deadline resulted from the provisions, it shall be subject to a fine of up to 1.5% of the wage fund in force in that employing entity in the financial year preceding the commission of the offence.

On the other hand, employing entities or persons acting on their behalf who fail to conclude a PPK running agreement within the deadline, fail to make timely payments to PPK, fail to report required data and/or fail to keep documentation on the calculation of PPK contributions are subject to fines ranging from PLN 1 000 to PLN 1 000 000.

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