Each year, the Finnish Centre for Pensions grants an award to a distinguished master’s thesis on a topic of interest to pension provision that was accepted at a Finnish university in the previous calendar year.

The award is 2,000 euros.

The aim of the reward is to encourage students to write a thesis on pension provision and to promote the teaching and research on pensions carried out at universities in Finland.

Pro Gradu Award 2020

The winner of the 2020 Pro Gradu Award was announced on 31 May 2021. The winner is Jonathan Strömberg (University of Oulu).

In his master’s thesis, Strömberg compares the Finnish pension system with the two top pension systems: the Danish and the Dutch. At the same time, he looked for answers relating to the financial sustainability of pension systems. These questions are traditional topics in studies and projections within the pension field. According to Jukka Rantala, who selected the winner of the 2020 Award, Strömberg’s thesis deals with a central totality of the earnings-related pension system and examines the most important factors affecting the system’s financial stability.  

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Applying for the Pro Gradu Award

The 2021 Pro Gradu Award application time starts at the beginning of 2022. A committee appointed by the Finnish Centre for Pensions will select the winner of the award. The winner will be announced in May 2022.

The award can be granted to a masters’ thesis that was accepted at one of the universities in Finland in 2021. The thesis can be written within the fields of history, mathematics, law, social policy, sociology, economics, statistics, insurance, communication or demography.

Both the authors and their supervisors and examiners can nominate the work for the award.

Previous awards

The 2019 Pro Gradu Award was awarded on 2 June 2020 to Jussi Karhunen (Tampere University). In his thesis on public law, Karhunen examined how lobbying organisations that represent the young affected the 2017 pension reform.

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The 2018 Pro Gradu Award was awarded on 23 May 2019 to Natalia Edelmann (Tampere University). Edelmann used statistical methods to investigate factors that affect the success of rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension system.

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The 2017 Pro Gradu Award was awarded on 30 May 2018 to Piia Vehkoja (University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research). Vehkoja’s pro gradu thesis reviewed the European Union’s policies and measures within the field of pension policy.