ETK research webinars  

The Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) has launched a new webinar series that focuses on research-based knowledge on topics that are relevant for developing the pension system at home and abroad. Not only will we present and discuss most recent research evidence but also prompt mutual learning from pension reforms and how they provide solutions for challenges that pension systems/pensions face in Finland and abroad.     

The webinar series will bring together researchers, policy makers and professionals from pension-related institutions to debate current issues of pensions and pension system development. The open access and free webinars allow the audience to participate in the discussion. We look forward to expanding pension research and expertise networks.

Welcome to our webinars!  

Mental health and work disability in the Nordic countries 

8 November 2021 at 14:00–15.15 (local time) / 13:00–14:15 (CET) 
(webinar via Teams) 

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. 


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 

Register for the webinar

You will receive a Teams invitation to your e-mail closer to the event.  

Previous webinars and seminars

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.


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


Jaakko Kiander, Director, Finnish Centre for Pensions

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?


  • 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


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

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.


  • 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


  • Hans Dubois (Eurofound, Ireland)  

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.


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


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

4 February 2020
Finnish Centre for Pensions, Kirjurinkatu 3, Helsinki

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?


9:00 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)

10:15  Coffee break

10:45  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)

13:00  Seminar ends

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.


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


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

23 May 2019


13:00 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)

14:30 Coffee break

16:00 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)

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

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?

Noora Järnefelt (Finnish Centre for Pension)

Coffee break

Upcoming Waves and Financing of SHARE in Finland
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (local time)

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)

Presentations at research seminar on 22 March 2018

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.

View the presentations (pdf)


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

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