Polish parties lay out retirement, tax policies in poll programmes

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's two main political parties laid out policies on areas including retirement and taxes on Saturday, squaring off with only weeks to go before a closely-fought election.

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) nationalists, in power since 2015, look set to remain the largest party after the Oct. 15 vote, but a question mark hangs over whether they will be able to secure a majority in an election dominated by topics such as the cost of living, security and democratic standards.

Most polls show PiS with more than 35% of the vote, while the liberal Civic Coalition (KO) grouping has around 30%.

KO, led by the main opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, laid out what it said were 100 policies for its first 100 days.

"These 100 concrete policies will mean that people in Poland will have more in their pockets, it will be cheaper in Polish shops and things will be better in every Polish home," PO leader Donald Tusk said.

These included raising the tax-free earnings limit to 60,000 zlotys ($13,917), pay rises for teachers and other public sector workers and state funding for IVF treatment.

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski unveiled the last policy on his party's programme, allowing women to retire after 38 years of work, while men would be able to do so after 43 years.

The party has made Poland's retirement age a key element of its campaign, attacking the PO for its decision to raise the age when it was in power.

One of four questions in a referendum that will run with the election is whether the retirement age should be raised.

The other key points of the PiS programme, which had already been announced, include a 60% hike in child benefits, removing tolls on motorways and making prescription medicines free for people over 65 or under 18.

($1 = 4.3111 zlotys)

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Alexander Smith)