The Finnish Centre for Pensions organizes research seminars, webinars and conferences in both Finnish and English. The seminars focus on most recent research on topics that are relevant for developing the pension system in Finland and abroad. The seminars seek to bring together researchers, policy makers and professionals from pension-related institutions to debate current issues of pensions and pension system development.

All seminars are open access and free. Keep informed about upcoming seminars by following this website or subscribing to our Newsletter. The link to webinars will be sent to all registered participants per email a few days prior to the event. You can also contact koulutus(at)etk.fi for any questions.

The materials of the seminars will be sent to registered participants after the event.


Upcoming seminars

No upcoming seminars.


Previous seminars

Employer perspectives on working longer

Policy reforms across Europe have aimed at extending working lives and postponing the retirement of older workers. However, one actor is often overlooked in these changes: the employer. For working lives to be successfully extended, employers should also adopt changes in policies and be willing to retain and recruit an ageing workforce.

There is a growing body of research on employers’ perspectives on the management, recruitment, and retirement of older workers. Employer surveys in Finland and the Netherlands have shown that employer perceptions of working longer and retiring later have become more positive in recent years. Still, obstacles in management and recruitment remain.

At this ETK research webinar on Monday, 14 November 2022 at 14.30 – 15.30 EET (13:30 – 14:30 CET) we will discuss what is going well and what room for improvement there is by comparing recent studies from Finland and the Netherlands.

Programme

Presentations:

  • Noora Järnefelt, Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK): Are Finnish employers ready for longer working lives?
  • Kène Henkens, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI): Employers and longer working lives. Do policies and norms change?

Comments by:

  • Anna Kwiatkiewicz, BusinessEurope

About the speakers
Noora Järnefelt is senior researcher at the Finnish Centre for Pensions. She has widely studied labour market participation and retirement. She is currently leading the Finnish Centre for Pensions’ research project on employer perceptions of retirement and workforce ageing in Finland.

Kène Henkens is the head of the Theme group on Work & Retirement at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. He is one of the pioneers of research on employers’ behaviours in an ageing labour market.

Anna Kwiatkiewicz works as a senior adviser at the policy department for social affairs of BusinessEurope. BusinessEurope is a recognised social partner representing national business federations from 35 countries at the European policy level.

Register for the webinar here. You will receive a Teams invitation to your e-mail closer to the webinar.

Read more:
Research webinar: Employer perspectives on working longer (25.10.2022)


Labour market exit ages in the Nordic countries and Europe: Trends and inequalities

Extending working lives and delaying older workers’ exit from the labour market have been among the cornerstone goals of pension reforms in recent years. However, the average age at which people retire or exit the labour force continues to lag behind official retirement ages in most European countries. In addition to differences in exit ages between countries, there are also differences in the possibilities for extending working lives between groups within societies.

In this webinar two new ETK studies will be presented. The first study focuses on developments in effective exit and retirement ages in the Nordic countries and Estonia. The second study examines changes in educational differences in effective exit ages in 16 countries across Europe. In the webinar we will look at the possibilities for comparisons between countries and how can various indicators of labour market exit inform policymaking.

Programme

Presentations:

Comments by:

  • Kristoffer Lundberg (Chair of the Indicator Sub-Group of the Social Protection Committee of the EU; Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden )
  • Saana Siekkinen (Director, The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK)

Read more:


Pension reforms and extending working lives: Lessons from Finland and the United Kingdom

Seminar organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland and the Finnish Centre for Pensions

Working lives have extended across Europe during the past two decades. Pension reforms have often been an important driving force behind longer working lives and rising employment of older workers. Yet, pension reforms can come in different forms and sizes and various countries have chosen different reform paths to stimulate employment and encourage later retirement.

In this seminar, we compare the pension reform pathways in Finland and the United Kingdom during the past 25 years and discuss the impact of these reforms on the employment of older workers. Looking back, what can the countries learn from each other? Looking forward, what are the prospects of older-worker employment in both countries after the pandemic?

Programme:

  • Elina Pylkkänen (Permanent State Undersecretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment): Opening words – pension reforms and the future of work
  • Nick Pearce (Professor, University of Bath): Pensions reform, older workers and the post-pandemic labour market in the UK
  • Olli Kangas (Professor, University of Turku): Finnish pension reforms in a Nordic perspective
  • Anu Polvinen (Senior Researcher, Finnish Centre for Pensions): Employment at the end of the working career in Finland
  • Comments by Seija Ilmakunnas (Professor, University of Jyväskylä)

Old-age poverty and pensioners’ income adequacy in Europe from new perspectives

The adequacy of pensions and poverty in old age are of constant concern of both policymakers as well as society at a large. Comparative research on these issues can shed greater light on the factors that contribute to economic wellbeing in retirement in various countries. Three recent studies by researchers of the Finnish Centre for Pensions approach old-age poverty and income adequacy in Europe from new perspectives and zoom in on some of the finer mechanisms behind pensioners’ economic wellbeing.

Does poverty in old age develop across time in a similar way as poverty in other age groups? What explains that women are often at a higher risk of poverty? Does it matter for perceived income adequacy whether income comes from a public pension or from other sources, such as work or wealth? These questions are answered with the help of survey data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC).

Programme:

  • Ilari Ilmakunnas: How do different poverty thresholds affect the picture of poverty trends in the older population?
  • Kati Ahonen: Does household structure explain gender differences in old-age poverty? 
  • Liisa-Maria Palomäki: Does the source of income affect pensioners’ perceptions of income adequacy? 

Comments by
Wouter De Tavernier (OECD) 

Read more:


2021

8 November 2021

Mental disorders are a major cause of disability among working-age people, accounting for a significant number of temporary and permanent absences from work. Compared to somatic diseases, trends in disability due to mental disorders have been less favourable. This webinar will provide an overview of recent trends in mental health-related work disability in the Nordic countries, covering Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Further, the webinar will consider possible reasons for these trends: do changes in the mental health of the population account for the changes in work disability and what is the role of working conditions or policy changes? The webinar will look at similarities and differences between these three Nordic countries and consider what can be learned in terms of prevention and policymaking.

Programme

Trends in mental health-related work disability: Finnish experiences
Mikko Laaksonen, Senior Researcher, Finnish Centre for Pensions

Long-term sick leave and work disability in Sweden – Trends and challenges with focus on mental disorders 
Ulrik Lidwall, Analyst, Swedish Social Insurance Agency

Working conditions, mental health and disability in Denmark: interrelations and developments over time  
Ida E. H. Madsen, Senior Researcher, National Research Centre for the Working Environment

Commentator: Jan Schugk, Chief Medical Officer, Mutual Pension Insurance Company Varma

Read more:

17 September 2021

An international and independent evaluation of the Finnish pension system commissioned by the Finnish Centre for Pensions and conducted by the distinguished pension expert Professor Torben M. Andersen (Aarhus University) is now completed. Prof. Andersen will present the results of his work at a webinar (in English) hosted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Programme

Opening
Mikko Kautto, Managing Director, Finnish Centre for Pensions

The pension system in Finland
Torben M. Andersen, Professor, Aarhus University

Comments on evaluation 
Suvi-Anne Siimes, Managing Director, The Finnish Pension Alliance TELA
Niku Määttänen, Professor, Helsinki Graduate School of Economics

Discussion

Chairman
Jaakko Kiander, Director, Finnish Centre for Pensions

Read more:

13 September 2021

There are often concerns in popular discourse that careers have become more fragmented and unstable in recent decades. Phenomena such as globalisation, technological change, economic crises, and labour market deregulation are believed to contribute to growing discontinuous and precarious employment with more frequent movements in and out of work and between jobs. Despite these myths, research has found very little evidence for trends towards more destabilised careers.

In this research webinar, we present some of the most recent studies on changes in employment career stability in Finland and Europe during the past few decades. Furthermore, we look at the penalties and premiums of career stability for earnings and, therefore indirectly, for pensions. Finally, we discuss if pension systems should play a role to mitigate the impact of unstable careers and if so, how?

Speakers

  • Satu Ojala (Tampere University): Employment careers in Finland: Stable for most, weaker among women and low educated
  • Zachary Van Winkle (Sciences Po, Paris): The complexity of employment life courses across 20th century Europe
  • Aart-Jan Riekhoff (Finnish Centre for Pensions): Is career instability good or bad for the development of your earnings? A Finnish cross-cohort analysis

Commentator

  • Pasi Moisio (chair of the Social Security Committee, research professor, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)

Release webinar of the Social Policy & Administration Special Issue 55:3

Life course trajectories have become increasingly important for retirement and pensions as recent reforms have strengthened the link between lifetime employment and benefits, introduced measures to lengthen working lives and increased the role of private supplementary pensions. At the same time, life courses are increasingly fragmented due to diversified and discontinuous employment and family dynamics. Together, these developments may reinforce inequalities in pension adequacy and retirement.

The contributions of the Special Issue provide up-to-date analyses and discuss inequalities in pension adequacy and retirement from a life course perspective. The articles also compare European pension systems and their role in cushioning or reinforcing inequalities.

Program

Kati Kuitto, Susan Kuivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions) and Katja Möhring (University of Mannheim):
Opening words – Life-courses and pension systems in comparative perspective

Bernhard Ebbinghaus (University of Oxford):
Inequalities and poverty risks in old age across Europe: The double‐edged income effect of pension systems

Kati Kuitto (Finnish Centre for Pensions):
Extending working lives: How policies shape retirement and labour market participation of older workers (with Jan Helmdag)

Katja Möhring (University of Mannheim):
The consequences of non‐standard working and marital biographies for old age income in Europe: Contrasting the individual and the household perspective

Ariane Bertogg (University of Konstanz):
Work–family balance in the second half of life: Caregivers’ decisions regarding retirement and working time reduction in Europe (with Tiziana Nazio and Susanne Strauss)

Aart-Jan Riekhoff (Finnish Centre for Pensions):
Pension reforms, the generational welfare contract and preferences for pro‐old welfare policies in Europe

Comments:
Bent Greve (Roskilde University, Editor-in-Chief of Social Policy & Administration)
Mikko Kautto (Finnish Centre for Pensions)

19 April 2021

Different forms of flexible retirement are gaining popularity around the world. One potential group of beneficiaries are older workers with difficulties in reaching their full retirement age due to poor health. The ETK research webinar presents new research on the relation between health, ageing and flexible retirement in Finland and abroad.

Finland introduced a new partial old-age pension in 2017. The benefit makes it possible to draw part of one’s earned old-age pension two years before reaching one’s full retirement age. Similar schemes that allow for an early partial withdrawal of a pension or working part-time while receiving a pension are also adopted in an increasing number of other countries. The aim of these schemes is to extend the working lives of those with difficulties to remain fully engaged in work while the official retirement ages rise. In our research webinar, we will explore how those with health problems or an expected low longevity utilise flexible retirement in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Chile and the United States.

Speakers

  • Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions):  Does a shorter expected longevity result in an early claiming of the partial old-age pension?
  • Isabel Bauman (Zürich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland):  Studying flexible retirement and health: challenges and insights from an international comparison

Commentator

  • Hans Dubois (Eurofound, Ireland)  

2020

3 December 2020

Are people actually familiar with the pension system, their pension benefits or how the benefits are financed? How do they feel about the pension system? This online seminar presents new research from Finland and Sweden on people’s pension knowledge. The knowledge is considered both as a self-assessed awareness of pension issues and as objectively measured knowledge on details of the pension system. In addition, the seminar presents results on trust in and worries about the pension system.

Speakers:

  • Sanna Tenhunen (Finnish Centre for Pensions)
    How familiar are Finns with pension issues and the 2017 pension reform in Finland? Questionnaire survey on views relating to pensions
  • Mattias Nordin (Uppsala University, Sweden)
    Pension Knowledge in Sweden: Rare, too Complicated and Postponed for a Better Day
  • Liisa-Maria Palomäki (Finnish Centre for Pensions)
    Finns’ multifaceted opinions on the pension system

Commentators:

  • Anu Raijas (Bank of Finland)
  • Olli Kärkkäinen (Ministry of Finance)

4 February 2020

Have recent pension reforms reinforced or mitigated inequalities rising from labour markets and different life courses? Why does non-standard work raise concerns about pension adequacy? How have recent pension reforms, in general, succeeded in ensuring sustainable and adequate pension provision?

Programme

Part I: Pension reforms and life course inequalities: Insights from research
Opening words

Karl Hinrichs (University of Bremen): Recent Pension Reforms in Europe: More Challenges, New Directions
Bernhard Ebbinghaus (University of Oxford): Reproducing labour market inequalities in old age pension income across Europe

Comments: Seija Ilmakunnas (University of Jyväskylä) and Traute Meyer (University of Southampton)

Part II: The OECD Pensions at a Glance 2019 Report – Recent pension reforms, non-standard forms of work and pensions

Hervé Boulhol (OECD): Recent pension reforms
Maciej Lis (OECD): Non-standard forms of work and pensions

Panel discussion: How does Finland’s pension system compare with other OECD countries?
Hervé Boulhol (OECD), Suvi-Anne Siimes (The Finnish Pension Alliance TELA), Minna Helle (Technologies Finland), Teemu Muhonen (Helsingin Sanomat), Ilkka Kaukoranta (The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK), Hannu Ijäs (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health) and Elisa Gebhard (The Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi)

2019

11 June 2019

During the past decades, many countries have implemented pension reforms and introduced changes in their retirement age in order to delay retirement and extend working lives.

This seminar shows us how effective the incentives of pension reforms have been in Finland and the United Kingdom over the years. Further, it presents an eight-year follow-up study about retirement plans, intentions and the actual retirement.

Speakers:

  • Jon Gruber (MIT), Ohto Kanninen (Labour Institute for Economic Research), Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pension), Terhi Ravaska (Labour Institute for Economic Research), Roope Uusitalo (University of Helsinki): The effect of relabeling and Incentives on Retirement: Evidence from a 2005 Finnish Pension Reform
  • Ricky Kanabar (University of Bath): The effect of an increased UK State Pension Age on expected working life of employees
  • Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pension): From plans to actions? Retirement thoughts, intentions and actual retirement: An eight-year follow-up of the Finnish Quality of Working Life Survey

Commentator:

  • Ilkka Kaukoranta (SAK, The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions)

23 May 2019

Programme

Part I: Life courses and inequalities in pensions – Results from the German LeA-study

In Germany, like in many other countries, working careers and family biographies are getting less standardized. How do changing careers, family patterns and migration challenge pension accumulation and old-age income security? In the first part of this research seminar, Dina Frommert from Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund presents results from the recent German LeA-study.

Speaker: Dina Frommert (DRV Bund)

Commentator: Susan Kuivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions)

Part II: Pension reforms in Germany

In the second part of the seminar, Dina Frommert discusses recent and planned reforms of the German pension system. In the ‘Pension Pact’, which came into force in January 2019, both the replacement and the contribution level of public pensions were stabilized for years to come, pension benefits for families with children were increased and disability pensions were improved. Introducing a scheme that provides a minimum pension and incorporates the self-employed in the compulsory pension insurance scheme are the next big reform issues.

Speaker: Dina Frommert (DRV Bund)

Commentators: Niku Määttänen (ETLA) and Antti Mielonen (Finnish Centre for Pensions)

2018

5 September 2018

Many countries, including Finland, have implemented pension reforms in the context of demographic aging. The aim of the reforms has been to improve the financial sustainability of pension systems.

Reforms have raised the retirement ages and abolished early routes to retirement. At the same time, they have made pension systems more flexible with the aim to promote later-life employment and to extend working lives.

At our seminar, we will discuss recent research on the effect pension reforms have had on the retirement age and employment rates of older workers.

Following the seminar is a meeting concerning the implementation of Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) in Finland.

Keynote speaker:
Axel Börsch-Supan (Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy): Dangerous Flexibility – Retirement Reforms Reconsidered, Empirical Results from Nine OECD Countries

Commentators:
Mikko Kautto
 (Finnish Centre for Pension): Flexibility and Retirement – Experiences from Finland
Tuulia Hakola-Uusitalo (Ministry of Finance): Research on Flexibility – What Type of Lessons for Policy?

Chair:
Noora Järnefelt (Finnish Centre for Pension)

* * *

Upcoming Waves and Financing of SHARE in Finland

Axel Börsch-Supan is the managing director of SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe). The research project covers 28 European countries, and it aims to tackle challenges of population ageing by providing cross-national micro data.

SHARE has been running in Finland since 2016. Funding for the future waves in Finland in 2019 and 2021 has not been secured yet. Prof. Börsch-Supan will start by presenting briefly the significance of SHARE in Finland, followed by a discussion about the content of SHARE data and the possibilities for national funding.

The meeting is open for everyone interested in the future and financing of SHARE in Finland.

22 March 2018

The seminar presented recent and on-going research from Finland and Norway on people’s pension knowledge. The seminar showed how information campaigns influence knowledge, attitudes and retirement plans. It also outlined how the potential impact of information gains persist over time.

  • Olli Kangas (Kela): Information and Legitimacy: Attitudes on the Finnish 2017 Pension Reform
  • Henning Finseraas: (ISF) The Short and Long run Effects of Information about the Pension System
  • Sanna Tenhunen & Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions): Retirement Plans and Knowledge of the Incentives in Pension System among 54-62-year-old Finns
  • Commentator: Reija Hyvärinen (Keva)

2017