Early retirement is one of the elements of the EU’s rural development policy. It is a form of incentive for older farmers to pass on their farms to their children. The process of implementation of this action in Poland started in 2001 and has not been finished yet. The article describes the ways in which a farmer can receive early retirement pension and the conditions that have to be met. The information concerning the number of supported people and the Polish regions in which farmers benefit the most is presented. Today it is already known that the action will not be realized in the next financial perspective. Analyses show that it was not efficient under Polish conditions. We ought to consider “why”. We must look for a reason and try to find out whether it lies in the administration, the legislation or the people’s mentality. This way another, alternative action will be presented, the purpose of which is to change the negative situation in the European countryside.