Finns’ understanding of pensions improving; knowledge gaps remain

Finnish people’s understanding of pensions has improved over the past five years, although levels of knowledge vary significantly between age cohorts, research by the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) has found.

The proportion of Finns that felt they had a poor or fairly poor understanding of pensions fell from 45 per cent in 2017 to 33 per cent in 2022.

Seven in 10 (70 per cent) respondents aged 65 and over said they knew pensions well or fairly well.

However, this proportion dropped to just 20 per cent of people aged under 35.

Around half of those surveyed knew that their pension was permanently increased with an increment for late retirement.

“Ideally, as many as possible should know that retiring late improves their earnings-related pension,” commented ETK economist, Sanna Tenhunen.

“That way, everyone could make an informed decision on when to retire.”

Most of the survey respondents believed that Finnish pension assets were managed reliably, but 50 per cent felt that younger generations were overburdened with paying for pensions.

Technology was found to be playing a growing role, with half of non-retired people checking their pension record online.

However, most of those who have not checked their pension online stated that they did not know of the online pension record.

ETK’s report stated that longer working lives were needed amid lower-than-projected birth rates and work-related immigration.

Confederation of Finnish Industries chief policy adviser, Vesa Rantahalvari, argued that improved employment rates and better return on pension asset investments were required, and pension benefits should adjust automatically to the economic situation.

Meanwhile, The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions head of pension policy, Sinikka Näätsaari, called for increased attention on the employment and wellbeing of the low-educated to extend their working lives, stating that working part time should be made easier.

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