The figure describing the average pension may vary considerably depending on the point of view and the group under review. For this reason, one figure is not enough to describe the average pension; instead, we should review several different average figures.

Figure describing the average total pension depends on group under review

The statutory total pension consists of either an earnings-related pension or a national pension or both, and a possible guarantee pension. In addition, possible pensions granted on the basis of the military accident, motor liability and workers’ compensation insurance (SOLITA pensions) are also included in the calculations.

The average total pension calculated for all pension recipients is the average figure for the most extensive group possible of pension recipients. In 2021, this figure was 1,698 euros per month. The figure includes pensions paid abroad as well as survivors’ pensions.

Since the average pension paid abroad was 438 euros per month and the average orphan’s pension was 428 per month, the inclusion of these pensions reduce the average total pension.

If the group of pension recipients is limited to persons who live in Finland and who get only a pension based on their own employment history (pension in their own right), the average total pension at the end of 2021 was 1,784 per month. Part-time pensions and partial old-age pensions are not included in these calculations.

Table 1. Average total pension of pension recipients who live in Finland and who get a pension in their own right, by pension structure and gender and by 31 Dec. 2021

 Men Women Total
Average total pension €/month  2,006  1,601  1,784
share of earnings-related pension  1,872  1,447  1,639
share of Kela pension *  114  141  129
share of SOLITA pensions 20 13 16
 * includes the guarantee pension

Highest total pensions paid to pensioners on an old-age pension

When reviewed per pension benefit, persons on an earnings-related old-age pension got the highest total average pension: 1,869 euros per month in 2021. The average total pension of a person on a disability pension was 1,168 euros per month.

Average earnings-related pensions on the rise

At the end of 2021, the average pension of person living in Finland who got a pension based on their own work history (excluding persons on a part-time or a partial old-age pension) was 1,684 euros per month. This figure differs from the previously presented average total pension (€1,784) because, when calculating this particular average earnings-related pension, part-time pensions as well as survivors’ and national pensions have been excluded.

On average, new earnings-related pensions are higher than the pensions in payment. This is explained, partly, by the higher pensionable earnings of the younger cohorts and, partly, by the fact that pensions in payment are adjusted with an index that takes the changes in the economy’s real earnings level into account only in part.

The maturing of the earnings-related system can be seen in the fact that persons who have been retired already for a longer period of time have had a shorter time to accrue an earnings-related pensions than those who are retiring now.

The average earnings-related pension based on the person’s own work history of those retiring in 2021 was 1,674 euros per month, which is 30 euros more than for all recipients of an earnings-related pension.

The highest average earnings-related pensions are old-age pensions. At the end of 2021, the average pension of persons getting an earnings-related pension in the form of an old-age pension was 1,694 euros per month. The corresponding figure for persons retiring on an old-age pension in 2021 was 1,888 euros per month.

Table 2. Pension recipients getting a pension in their own right per 31 Dec. 2021 and new retirees on an earnings-related pension in 2021 and the average earnings-related pension per pension type.

Pension benefit No. Average pension EUR/month No. Average pension EUR/month
Old-age pension* 1,302,000 1,694 42,500 1,888
Disability pension 124,000 1,116 17,300 1,147
Farmers’ special pension 7,200 701 70 1,133
Total 1,425,600 1,644 59,800 1,674

* excluding those who get a partial old-age pension

Men’s average earnings-related pension higher than women’s

On average, men’s earnings-related pensions are higher than women’s. At the end of 2021, the difference in the pensions in payment was 600 euros per month in favour of the men. The average earnings-related pension was 1,373 euros per month for women and 1,973 euros per month for men. Men’s larger earnings-related pensions are due to their longer working lives and higher wages compared to women’s.

If survivors’ pensions, national pensions and SOLITA pensions are included, that is, if we consider the total pension, the difference shrinks to an 435 euros per month. In this case, the average total pension for men is 2,078 euros per month and for women 1,643 euros per month.

Average pension in relation to average earnings

Although the average pensions (excluding disability pensions) have increased in real terms already for decades, the average replacement ratios of disability pensions compared to the economy’s average wages have decreased by approximately 14 percentage points to an ample 33 per cent in the review period 2000–2019. For those receiving an old-age pension, the average replacement ratio has remained at over 50 per cent of the average wage in the economy.

Average total pension and its ratio to average earnings in 2000–2019

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