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

Perception of income depends on both amount and source of income

In addition to the size of income, the source of income also plays a role in pensioners’ perceived income adequacy. The higher the share of pension and capital income is, the more adequate the income is perceived to be. Income from other social benefits or work weaken the perception of adequacy. This study examines the impact of the amount and source of income on the income perceptions of older Europeans. The research article has been published in the Journal of Aging & Social Policy.  

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Most old-age pensioners find their financial situation to have remained good – one fifth experience long-term financial difficulties

A study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions shows that most pensioners perceive their financial situation to have remained favourable between 2017 and 2020. Yet one fifth of the old-age pensioners experience long-term financial difficulties.

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Immigration still the most popular solution to strengthen pension financing; one third would raise pension contributions 

An ample 60 per cent of Finns find employment-based immigration to be a good means to strengthen pension financing.Raising pension contributions is the second most popular solution. An ample one third is in favour of this alternative. Only one quarter of Finns are in favour of pension investors increasing risk taking to increase pension assets. This is revealed by the latest Pension Barometer conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

If the pension system had to be changed to strengthen pension financing, around 62 per cent of the respondents agree or strongly agree with the alternative of increasing employment-based immigration.  Around 34 per cent agree or strongly agree with increasing pension contributions, while 35 per cent disagree or strongly disagree with this alternative. Fiftyfive per cent of the respondents disagree or strongly disagree with raising the retirement age. A clear majority of the respondents oppose cutting pensions in payment or future pensions.

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Most pensioners perceive it somewhat easy to make ends meet

Two of three pension recipients find it somewhat easy to cover everyday expenses. However, according to a fresh study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, one in ten reported great financial strain.

According to the study, a great majority of retirees in Finland assessed their level of financial satisfaction as average or high in 2020. The share of pensioners experiencing difficulties making ends meet has decreased. 

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Net income decreases at retirement by one fifth on average

On average, the net income of a person retiring from employment is 79 per cent of the net income during the active period. A new study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions shows that the change in net income at retirement has remained unchanged since the early 2000s. The pre-retirement labour market statuts significantly impacts the income change.

Median net income ratio of persons retiring from work and non-work and of all new retirees, % 

 Retiring from work Retiring from non-work All 
2002 79 118 89 
2007 80 113 86 
2012 78 125 83 
2017 79 113 87 

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Financial hardship in early life course affects economic well-being also in old age

Older Finns face currently less difficulties in making ends meet but have experienced financial hardship somewhat more frequently than people aged 55 and more in European countries on average. Financial hardship during earlier stages of the life course was related to less economic well-being also in old age, as were poor health, low education and lacking homeownership. This study is based on SHARE wave 7 survey data, which was for the first time collected in Finland in 2017 and enables internationally comparative analyses of the situation of people aged 55 and more.

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Voluntary saving increasingly popular – every second Finn saves for retirement

Saving for retirement is more prevalent among men and the 55–64-year-olds. Women and the unemployed state more often than others that they are financially unable to save. This is evident from a recent study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

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Study: Women worried about retirement income

Finns are worried about the retirement income of low-income retirees in particular. Retirees’ income gaps and the availability of reasonably-priced social and health services also cause concern. A recent study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions reveals that women are more worried about pension issues than men.

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Public defense of doctoral thesis: Pensioners’ income in retirement remains reasonable

The Finnish pension policy objectives have been mainly successful. Pensioners’ economic well-being does not drop dramatically at retirement, and the income of low-income people even improves slightly. After retirement, incomes remain fairly stable. However, for some retirees, poverty is long-lasting. This is evident in a doctoral dissertation by Juha Rantala for the University of Turku. The research is based on longitudinal register data.

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Majority of Finns unfamiliar with price tag of pensions

Only 13 per cent of the Finns know how much they pay in pension contributions. 29 per cent underestimate their pension contribution rate. These are results revealed in a new survey on pension knowledge conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

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