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The intended retirement age has increased in Finland at the same pace as the retirement age after the 2017 pension reform. In many other countries, retirement intentions have remained virtually unchanged despite pension reforms.

The delay in retirement intentions in Finland may be explained by citizens’ awareness of the 2017 pension reform thanks to an extensive information campaign about the reform. According to the 2018 Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey used as the data for the current study, more than 80 per cent of the respondents aged 50–62 years knew what their retirement age is.  

Information about the reform was shared, for example, on the pension reform website, in various news flashes on television and via personal letters.   The media coverage of the reform and the gradually rising retirement age was also comprehensive.  

The information campaign began immediately after the reform was agreed on in 2014 and continued strong in 2016 and 2017 at the time of the reform coming into force.  

“It appears that Finns are well aware of the rising retirement age and can plan retirement based on correct information”, Economist Satu Nivalainen (Finnish Centre for Pensions) assesses in her recent research article.  

Intended retirement age rose by nearly two years in one decade 

In 2018, Finnish wage earners intended to retire at age 64 years and 7 months on average. In 2008, the average intended retirement age was 62 years and 8 months. In Finland, the intended retirement age predicts the effective retirement age fairly accurately.

In many other countries with pension reforms, the intended retirement age has changed only little or not at all.  

“Citizens’ awareness of pension reforms could be raised also in many other countries by offering clear and easy-to-understand information through various channels and by presenting information packages to the media and educating them, as was done in Finland”, Nivalainen concludes.  

Research article
Retirement Intentions and Increase in Statutory Retirement Age: 2017 Pension Reform and Intended Retirement Age in Finland, published in Journal of Aging and Social Policy.  

Read more 
Wage earners’ retirement intentions clearly deferred – every second wants to retire at age 65 at the earliest 

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