Number of persons insured for an earnings-related pension unchanged

At year-end 2015, a total of 2.3 million people were working under an employment contract or as self-employed workers. The public sector continues to be dominated by female workers and by older employers than the private sector. The share of women of all employed persons has grown.

At year-end 2015, a total of 3.2 million employees or self-employed workers were insured in the earnings-related pension system. Approximately 2.3 million of them were working. Nearly as many women as men were working.

An ample 1.7 million were working in the private sector and 680 000 in the public sector. In other words, of all employed people, nearly one fourth worked in the public sector.

Those who worked in the private sector were clearly younger than those working for the municipalities, the State and the Church.

Of those working in the private sector, an ample one third (36%) were under 35 years of age, while the equivalent figure in the public sector was on fifth (20%). One quarter of the municipal, State and Church employees were aged 55 and over. In the private sector, only 16 per cent were aged 55 or over.

Female employees continue to be in the majority in the public sector. Three quarters of the municipal, State and Church employees are women. More men than women work in the private sector. Three fifths of the private sector employees are men.

“The share of women of all employed has clearly grown. From 2007 to 2015, the share of women has grown from 29 to 41 per cent in the private sector. The change is considerable. At the same time, the number of female public sector workers continues to grow,” says Tiina Palotie-Heino, Statistics Manager at the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Although the share of women employees has grown, the figures speak more of the problems in the male-dominated fields.  According to employment statistics of Statistics Finland, a significant amount of workplaces have disappeared from industry since 2007.

Change within the private sector

The number of employees in the private and the public sectors have remained virtually unchanged since 2007.

However, changes have occurred within the public sector. The number of municipal employees has grown by 35,000 employees to 525,000 since 2007. At the same time, the State has reduced its workforce by more than 50,000 employees to an ample 139,000.

Part of the change is explained by the transfer of workplaces in education from the State to municipalities. At the same time, an increasing portion of the operations in the universities have been taken over by funds or corporatized or turned into enterprises. As a result, former state employees have become private sector employees.

“In addition to the corporatization, austerity measures have reduced the number of state employees. These changes are visible in the statistics,” says Palotie-Heino.

Persons insured for an earnings-related pension in Finland (


More information

Heidi Nyman, Statistics Planner, +358 29 411 2139, heidi.nyman(at)

Jari Kannisto, Development Manager, +358 29 411 2232, jari.kannisto(at)

Tiina Palotie-Heino, Statistics Manager, +358 29 411 2147, tiina.palotie-heino(at)