Finnish savers leaving pension enquiries to last minute, warns Elo

Less than three quarters (70 per cent) of Finnish savers who retired in 2021 enquired about the level of their old-age pension more than a few months in advance of retirement, according to Elo.

Drawing data from its own members, the provider said it found it surprising that so many savers did not find out such important details until so late on, although the company added that the proportion of savers looking up their pension pot’s value had increased from just 49 per cent in 2018.

More than half (51 per cent) of the self-employed workers who assessed their pension and retired during 2021 made their first assessment of their pension less than three months before starting to draw from it, while the figure stood at 38 per cent for employees.

The company said it was concerned that savers were not properly familiarising themselves with whether their pensions would cover their living expenses, pointing out that savers could always work a few years beyond their minimum retirement age to improve the health of their pots.

Elo pension counselling manager, Satu Saulivaara, said: “You should start planning no later than a couple of years before and think about how to adjust your retirement income and expenses. A couple of months before retirement, you no longer have time to make very big movements in your own financial management.”

He added that, as well as a change to one’s financial position, retirement was a lifestyle change that people should think about more broadly.

Saulivaara added: “It is good to consider, for example, how the termination of employment affects one's own use of time and interpersonal relationships and adjusts expenditure to retirement income. In this way, retirement is not a leap into the unknown, but a considered step into a new phase of life.”

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