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Established 1996
Saturday 23 March 2019


Partial disability pensions on the increase in Finland

Written by Natalie Tuck

The number of partial disability pensions are on the increase in Finland, according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

In 2017, nearly one third (5,600) of all new retirees on a disability pension (18,600) got a partial disability pension. A typical retiree on a partial disability pension is a middle-aged woman who works in the public sector.

The share of partial disability pensions has doubled over the last decade: in 2007, 14 per cent of the new retirees on a disability pension got a partial disability pension, with the share rising to 30 per cent in 2017.

A typical retiree on a partial disability pension is a 55-year-old woman who works in the public sector. Her ability to work has been reduced because of a musculoskeletal disease, but she is found capable of part-time work and lighter work tasks.

Commenting, Finnish Centre for Pensions statistics manager Tina Palotie-Heino said: “That the share of disability pensions is growing is a positive trend. As many as four out of five disability pension retirees work while getting the pension. Continuing at work means that their old-age pension grows and that the pension expenditure is kept at a moderate level.”

Furthermore, the Finnish Centre for Pensions said the average age of the new disability retirees was 52 years and more than half of them had already turned 55. The main causes of disability was musculoskeletal diseases (34 per cent) and mental and behavioural disorders (29 per cent).

Women retired on a disability pension more often than men because of mental and behavioural disorders. Diseases of the circulatory organs, as well as injuries and poisonings are more common among men than women. Depression continues to be the main single cause for retirement on a disability pension. Last year, approximately nine persons retired each day because of depression; two out of three were women.

In total, around 145,000 people receive an earnings-related disability pension. Two out of five (42 per cent) have retired because of mental disorders. One quarter (26 per cent) or all retirees on a disability pension have retired due to the second major cause for retirement: musculoskeletal disorders.

“Mental disorders drive people to retirement at a clearly younger age than do musculoskeletal diseases. In 2017, the average age for retirees with mental disorders was 45 years, while it was 56 years for retirees with musculoskeletal disorders,” Palotie-Heino said.

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