The length and timing of working life and the earnings received during that period in life affect the pension accumulation on an individual level. On a system level, working lives affect the financial sustainability of the pension system. The socio-political aims of extending working lives and raising the employment rate increase the need for research data on the subject.  

Under the research programme, we will do research on stages of and changes to working life that are significant from the point of view of pensions, and on the length of working life and income and related changes per population groups. A central subarea of our research is the labour market participation of the oldest working-age population. In addition, we focus on the early and mid-stages of working life and changes to and interruptions in working life. An increasing number of persons work in retirement. Under this research programme, we will therefore examine how common it is for people in Finland to work while drawing a pension and the underlying reasons for doing so.  

New studies

Shortage of qualified labour does not prompt all employers to hire older workers

Photo: Katri Lehtola

Employers who face difficulties recruiting workers are not necessarily more willing than other employers to hire persons over the age of 55. These employers invest in older workers only if they have a more positive perception of older workers than employers have on average. This is evident in a fresh research article by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

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Most persons who draw a partial disabilty pension work – their income is clearly higher than that of persons outside the labour force

A majority of the recipients of a partial disability pension work throughout the entire period of receiving the pension. Public sector employees work more often than do private sector employees or the self-employed. However, every fifth partial disability pension recipient is outside the labour force, as is revealed by a recent research article by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

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Differing labour market pathways after long sickness absence

A study by Kela and the Finnish Centre for Pensions reveals five distinct groups in market labour states following a sickness absence spell of at least 30 days. Nearly two out of three return to work, but for the rest, the years following are governed by unemployment, disability pensions or rehabilitation. A lower socioeconomic status, chronic illnesses and mental health problems are related to a decreased likelihood of return to work.

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Employers’ norms about the “right” ages to work and retire are higher in countries with higher retirement ages

For policies to extend working lives to succeed, also employers need to adapt their norms about when workers are too young to retire and when they are too old to work. Employers’ retirement age norms in Europe are generally higher than those of employees. Employers tend to have more positive retirement age norms in countries that have higher statutory retirement ages. The study comparing retirement age norms in 27 countries in 2018 is in the journal Work, Aging and Retirement.

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International study on impact of labour market uncertainties on pension adequacy for youth

Atypical employment relationships and employment interruptions, combined with recent pension reforms, weaken the pension adequacy of today’s youth in Europe. The development of the labour market position of the young must be continuously monitored. The effects of pension reforms on the young should be carefully assessed already when preparing pension reforms.

Conducted within the EU Cost Action YOUNG-IN network, this edited volume gathered the comparative and country-specific studies of 15 researchers from different countries.

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