There are different routes to retirement. Research on the timing of retirement and type of pension benefit provide information on how working lives have extended and how common various pension benefits are (such as the disability pension or the partial old-age pension).  

During the research program period, we will study retirement by pension benefit and population group, with a special focus on the effects of the 2017 pension reform. In addition to actual retirement, we will review the population’s retirement intentions and the connection between the intended and actual retirement age. We will review the connection between retirement and workplace-level factors, as well as employers’ attitudes to ageing workers and to the retirement ages within the pension system.  

The working life of many ends in retirement on a disability pension. Under this research programme, we will examine disability retirement rates, time-related changes in disability pension application and rejection rates, as well as how the changes differ between various population groups and how they affect the number of persons drawing a disability pension. We will also examine how health, work ability and working conditions affect retirement on a disability pension, measures that support work ability and the process of retirement.  

New study

Health shocks affect couples’ working lives

Among opposite-sex couples, the significance of the female’s employment for the couple’s income increases if the male spouse falls seriously ill. A new study shows that highly educated women are better equipped to support the couple financially than women with a basic or average-level education.

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Partial disability pensions most frequent among municipal sector employees

Municipal sector employees retire on a partial disability pension three times more often than private sector employees. Research shows that the partial disability pension is also more frequently taken out by women.

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Older workforce requires investments in work ability

Extending working lives means that increasing attention must be paid to physical and psychosocial risks. “If all work environments do not allow continued employment, the increase in the length of working lives may be uneven and lead to increasing economic inequalities in older age”, writes Mikko Laaksonen in the editorial of the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

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Carrots, sticks and pension reforms

A research article published in Decmeber 2020 shows that the 2005 and 2017 pension reforms were very different in terms of incentives and effects. The 2005 reform included an abundant amount of ‘carrots’ to extend working lives. The 2017 pension reform, on the other hand, put a greater emphasis on ‘sticks’. The article was published in the journal Nordisk Välfärdsforskning. The article is in English.

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Retirement intentions accurately predict retirement

A recent study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions shows that the planned retirement age of a worker accurately predicts the actual retirement age. The worker’s work ability, the working conditions at the workplace and the employer’s attitudes also affect actual retirement.

In her study, economist Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions) examined how workers’ retirement thoughts form their retirement plans and eventually lead to actual retirement.  

The study is based on the 2008 Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey conducted by Statistics Finland, supplemented with data from the pension register of the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The statistical and register data cover the period 2008–2016. 

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