The primary task of pensions is to secure an income in retirement. Under this research programme, we will examine pension levels as well as pension benefits of population groups that are central to the improvement of pensions.  

Retirement often spans years and decades and includes different phases as far as income is concerned. During this research programme period, we will conduct individual-level longitudinal studies of changes in pensioners’ income levels and reconduct the questionnaire survey from 2017.  

We will assess livelihood adequacy primarily based on income. We will also review the livelihood of pensioners through consumption and subjective experiences relating to livelihood.  

Under this research programme, we will monitor the Finnish working-age population’s knowledge and views of pension adequacy, sustainability and key principles of the pension system.  

New studies

Pension Barometer:  Employment-based immigration most popular option to strengthen pension financing – no cuts in pensions wanted

More than 60 per cent of Finns find employment-based immigration to be a good means to strengthen pension financing if so required. According to the fresh Pension Barometer, the second most popular alternative is to raise pension contributions. Most respondents object to cutting current or future pensions.


Savings explain the lower risk of subjective economic hardship among older people

The study describes the association between age and the risk of subjective economic hardship and how the association varies by level of income in European countries. When controlling for country-level variation and level of income, older people are less likely than younger age groups to experience subjective economic hardship. Older people’s lower risk seems to be largely explained by their more frequent ability to use savings to maintain their standard of living. The study was published in the journal Social Indicators Research.

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People aged 75+ often live alone in the Nordics but together with several generations in Southern Europe – great variation in poverty risk

In Finland and Sweden, the old-age poverty risk varies greatly between men and women because clearly more women than men live alone. A research article by the Finnish Centre for Pensions reviews the gender differences in old-age poverty in 14 EU countries. The differences between the northern and southern countries are surprisingly large.


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Relatively little change in income level at retirement

According to a recent study, the income level of people retiring from work decreased by one fifth on average. For low-income people, such as the unemployed, the income actually grew slightly. On an individual level, however, the income development varied considerably. The focus of the review was on people who retired in 2017 and whose net income was tracked between 2013 and 2020. The study was published in the journal Kansantaloudellinen aikakauskirja (4/2023).

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The more debt, the more dissatisfied a pensioner is with their finances

The amount of debt, the income level and health are strongly linked to financial satisfaction of old-age pensioners. Taking the differences in income and wealth into account, the financial satisfaction of pensioners is weaker in Southern Finland than in Eastern and Northern Finland. This is evident in a recent research article by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.


Pension Barometer:  Two thirds of Finns trust the pension system 

Finnish citizens’ trust in the pension system remains high, according to the Pension Barometer conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions. Yet, the confidence has decreased somewhat compared to previous Pension Barometers. Two thirds of the respondents trust the pension system and almost as many think pension assets are managed in a responsible way.


Pensioners’ economic wellbeing relative to rest of population unchanged – poverty most common among people who live alone

An extensive study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions reviews the economic wellbeing of pensioners from 1995 to 2020 via, for example, pensions, income, wealth and perceived economic welfare.  

The most well-off pensioners are the 55–74-year-olds who live in a two-person household. Single, particularly under-55-year-olds, have a clearly smaller-than-average income. 


Finnish Centre for Pensions – Central body of and expert on statutory earnings-related pensions