Research on Working Lives and Their Development

The length and timing of working life and the earnings received during that period affect the pension level. Working lives also affect the financial sustainability of the pension system. The socio-political aims of extending working lives increase the need for research data of the subject.

At the Finnish Centre for Pensions, we conduct research on the length of working lives and on the earnings accrued during working life. We study the working conditions, the stability of the working life and the retirement intentions of different wage earner groups. We review the initial, mid- and final stages of working life. Using various scenarios, we also assess the long-term development of working lives.

Working lives may include interruptions that are due to, for example, periods of unemployment, studies or parental leaves. Data on the frequency and allocation of unpaid periods between population groups, as well as of working life after breaks, are significant from the point of view of both the pension provision and employment.

Our research on working lives is mainly based on national data, but international comparisons offer perspective, for example, when assessing the magnitude of gender gaps or differences between socioeconomic groups.

Current research projects

Parenthood as early career earnings risk (PAECER)

Aim: Early career development in terms of labour market attachment and earnings is important for later life, but also for future pensions and thus incomes in old age. In this project, we study the effects of parenthood, parental leave breaks and other career discontinuities on labour market attachment and earnings development of young Finnish women and men.

Realization: We use register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland’s data for cohorts born between 1967 and 1987. We carry out trajectory analyses in order to identify different early career paths and crucial covariates that are explaining those employment trajectories.

Schedule: 2016–2019

Researchers: Kati Kuitto (ETK), Janne Salonen (ETK), Jan Helmdag (University of Greifswald)

Pension reform 2017 questionnaire survey

Aim: In this project, we will examine the intentions relating to continued working and retirement of people born between 1954 and 1962 who are approaching retirement age. We will also ask them about the significance of incentives. At the same time, we will inform them of the content of the 2017 pension reform and ask them about their understanding of the reform.

Realisation: We will conduct a survey questionnaire for people approaching the retirement age.

: autumn of 2015 – 2018

Researcher: Sanna Tenhunen & Satu Nivalainen

The 2005 pension reform in Finland: Effects of changing economic incentives on old-age retirement

Aim: The main focus of our study will be on the changes in the economic incentives of the pension reform on retirement/continued working.

Realisation: The empirical section of the study is based on a 10-per-cent random sample from the register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions of 50-70-year-old Finnish citizens in the years 2000-2011

Schedule: 2016–2017

Researcher: Satu Nivalainen

Working life and adequate pension provision

Aim: In this project, we will examine the connection between the length, timing and possible interruptions in working life and the adequacy of pension provision. In particular, we will review the socioeconomic and gender differences.

Realization: Our research will consist of several partial studies. They will be based primarily on the register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland’s data on educational level, occupation and socioeconomic status.

Schedule: 2015–2019

Researchers: Susan Kuivalainen, Noora Järnefelt and Satu Nivalainen

Young people displaced from the labour market

Aim: Being displaced from the labour market has wide-ranging effects in terms of the future pension provision. In the first phase of this study, we will examine how many people face the danger of being displaced and what happens when the displacement lasts for a long time. Our research question relates to how big a share of the youth face the danger of being excluded from the labour market. Our review period is 2005-2014 and we will focus mainly on the 1987 birth cohort. In our research, we will apply the so-called trajectory analysis to find out the employment trajectory of the youth.

Realization: We will use the research register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions, in addition to Statistics Finland’s data on occupation, socioeconomic status and educational level, in order to make a statistical modelling.

Schedule: 2015–2018

Researchers: Janne Salonen (Finnish Centre for Pensions)  and Tapio Nummi, Pekka Virtanen, Antti Saloniemi, Liudmila Lipiäinen (University of Tampere)