Areas of research

  • Pensioners’ economic well-being   
  • Views on pensions   


My research focuses on pensioners’ subjective economic well-being, but also on their trust in and general views on the pension system. My research is based on both international (EU-SILC) questionnaire surveys and those conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions. I received a Master’s degree in sociology from the University of Helsinki and a Ph.D. from the University of Turku.

Ongoing research projects   

We continue producing new and up-to-date data on retirees’ perceptions of their livelihood and economic well-being. In the autumn of 2020, we will repeat the questionnaire survey “Pensioners’ income and economic well-being” that we carried out in 2017. The survey, carried out online and by post, is targeted at 55-85-year-old persons on an old-age and disability pension so that part of the respondents are new and part the same as in the previous wave. Our aim is to better recognize factors that affect pensioners’ perceptions of their livelihood and follow changes in these perceptions during retirement.

In our analyses, we focus on reporting on the central indicators (for example, financial satisfaction, covering regular and necessary expenses, consumption). However, we will also produce data on new subjects such as incurring debt, wealth, financial relations between the spouses and causes that prevent working in retirement.

Schedule: 2020–2022

Researchers: Kati Ahonen, Susan Kuivalainen, Anu Polvinen, Liisa-Maria Palomäki, Anniina Kaittila (University of Turku)

In this study we outline Finnish citizens’ opinions and views on pensions and the reliability and future outlooks of the pension system. In addition, we examine Finns’ assessments of their retirement income and how they have prepared themselves financially for retirement. We also outline how much they know about pensions and of the impacts of the 2017 pension reform and how these impacts may affect retirement.

The study is based on a questionnaire survey sent to 5,000 randomly selected 25–67-year-old Finnish citizens. The dataset is supplemented with register data. The privacy statement (in Finnish) is applied to the processing of personal data.

Schedule: 2019–2021

Researchers: Sanna Tenhunen, Liisa-Maria Palomäki, Jyri Liukko, Juha Rantala, Susan Kuivalainen

The aim of this research project is to shed light on the various factors underlying the subjective views of economic well-being of older Europeans. First, we are interested in how subjective economic well-being (SEW) is related to individuals’ income levels, source of income, socioeconomic status and gender. Second, the project pays special attention to how household structure and various household members’ resources affect SEW. Third, we aim to compare countries and identify factors at the macrolevel that influence individuals’ and households’ SEW. The empirical analysis is based on the EU-SILC survey data, in combination with data extracted from other external sources. Results will be published in international scientific journals on ageing and social policy.

Schedule: 2020–2022

Researchers: Liisa-Maria Palomäki, Kati Kuitto, Susan Kuivalainen, Aart-Jan Riekhoff