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

Educational inequalities in employment narrowed among 60–68-year-old Finns

A new study be the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) explores employment among 60–68-year-old Finns and the magnitude of educational inequalities in employment over the period 2006–2018. The results show that the employment rate of older people increased over the study period. As a rule, educational inequalities in employment narrowed among the 60–62- and 66–68-year-olds and remained stable among the 63–65-year-olds. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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A majority of employers find workers older than 55 to be more reliable and independent than the average worker

Around half of the employers assessed that the problem-solving ability as well as knowledge and skills of workers older than 55 are better than of the average worker, a fresh study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions reveals.

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Europeans exit the labour markets at an increasingly later age – educational gaps still visible in continued working

In all European countries, people continue working longer than before. Yet the low-educated exit the labour market earlier than the high-educated. In Finland, the effective exit age, that is, the age at which people leave the labour market, has increased relatively much. This is evident from a study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, in which educational gaps in the effective exit ages in 16 European countries between the years 2003–2020 were compared.  

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One third of retirees on an old-age pension works or would like to work while drawing a pension 

One third of 63–80-year-old retirees work or are interested in working while drawing an old-age pension, a recent study (in Finnish only) by the Finnish Centre for Pensions shows. Many retirees would like to work to get something meaningful to do. However, retirees find that their age might be an obstacle to working in retirement. The analysis based on a survey was published in the social policy journal Yhteiskuntapolitiikka.

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Employers more favourable than before to older workers

Nearly three out of four employers state that working with typical tasks at the workplace until age 65 is possible. Yet, according to a new study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, most employers doubt that working lives will be extended at their own place of business.

Employers’ attitudes towards older workers has become increasingly positive. More than 70 per cent of the employers agree that workers can do typical tasks at the workplace until age 65. In the early 2000s, the equivalent percentage was around 50. 

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Study: Changing jobs pays off

On average, the wages of men increase by 3.4 per cent and of women by 3.0 per cent when changing jobs. Highly educated men benefit the most from job mobility. Women have surpassed men when it comes to the number of job changes.

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Family leaves lead to persistent gender gaps in careers and pensions

While considered one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, the gender gap in earnings and pensions is still considerable in Finland. Career breaks related to parenting are one of the reasons for the persistent gap, as family leaves are still mainly taken by the mother.

In a new book chapter, we compare gender differences in careers, earnings and pensions in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The chapter is part of an edited volume on family and pension policies.

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Pension reforms and social investment policies help extending working lives

Social Policy Administration.

Recent pension system reforms aimed at postponing retirement and lengthening working lives seem to work as hoped. Besides pension system incentives, however, social policies throughout the life course and social investment-type of policies matter for increasing effective retirement age and the employment rate of older workers. The macro-comparative study of 15 OECD countries from 1992–2010 was recently published in Social Policy & Administration.

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Young people’s careers and pensions well underway before the pandemic

Most young people in Finland are in gainful employment at some point between ages 18 and 22. At the same time, they are building the beginnings of their future pension. One in ten young people in this age group have accrued a pension of almost 120 euros, according to a new study out by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

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Educational background shows in effective retirement age

People with a lower education retire at an earlier age than those with a higher education. That said, the gaps between educational levels have slightly narrowed in recent years.

Senior Researcher Aart-Jan Riekhoff presents the main points of his recent research in a blog that is in English.

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Industrial workers’ careers more stable than alleged

Globalisation and technological advancements are often claimed to weaken the careers of industrial workers. No grounds for this claim is found in a research article published in December 2020. Instead, research shows that career length varies greatly depending on the worker’s educational level and gender. The study examines workers within the forest, metal and chemical industries in Finland during the period 1988–2015. The article was published in the Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies.

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