Half of new retirees in Finland want to work in retirement

Half (50 per cent) of newly retired old-age pensioners in Finland are interested in working in retirement, research by the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) has found.

Its survey of those retiring from work between 2019 and 2021 showed that 34 per cent work or have worked in retirement, while 16 per cent have not worked but would like to find employment.

The remaining 50 per cent had not worked and did not want to.

ETK noted that many Finns who had recently retired felt they were in sufficiently good health to continue working, with men more likely to work in retirement than women.

“Working in retirement is often irregular and occasional,” said ETK senior researcher, Anu Polvinen.

“Most of those pensioners who find their work interesting also want to work occasionally. Many emphasised the importance of the work being flexible and voluntary.”

More than half who had worked in retirement were employed by the same employer with similar tasks to pre-retirement.

A tenth of those recently retired have moved into self-employment.

“Pensioners seem to find work in fields that require expertise or that suffer from labour shortage,” Polvinen explained.

Of those working or interested in working in retirement, 89 per cent said work provided interesting tasks, 72 per cent said it made them feel needed, and 70 per cent wanted to maintain social relationships.

On the financial side, 65 per cent wanted to increase their income and 52 per cent wanted to earn more pension.

More than a third (35 per cent) were worried that they would find it difficult to make ends meet.

The most common reasons for not wanting to work in employment were wanting to enjoy retirement and feeling that they had worked for long enough.

Half felt that no suitable work was available and around 40 per cent were concerned they would not be hired because of their age.

“Those who have retired on an old-age pension form a skilled and flexible workforce,” Polvinen said.

“It would be important that employers would more often view pensioners who want to work as a workforce potential. We should also report more on the psycho-social and financial benefits of working in retirement.”

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