Trust in Finnish pension system climbs to 74% - ETK

Around three quarters (74 per cent) of Finns trust the country’s pension system as confidence grew by 6 percentage points compared to last year, according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK).

The most significant change registered by ETK’s pension barometer was a 12 percentage point improvement in the confidence expressed by those aged between 35 and 49, 67 per cent of whom said they trusted the system in 2020.

ETK economist, Sanna Tenhunen, said that women, workers, the self-employed, those with a higher university degree and those with high income had also grown more positive towards the pension system than before.

The eldest members of society appeared to have most faith in the system, with 90 per cent of retirees and 77 per cent of those aged between 50 and 64 trusting it.

The second youngest group surveyed, 25- to 34-year olds, were the most sceptical, with a quarter (25 per cent) disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement “I trust the Finnish pension system”.

Additionally, more than two thirds (69 per cent) of ETK’s respondents thought the Covid-19 crisis had impacted their opinion of the pension system, with just 14 per cent concerned that the pandemic would weaken their income.

Director, Jaakko Kiander, commented: “The good results can partly be explained by the fact that, in situations of crisis such as the corona pandemic, the trust in public institutions is usually strengthened.”

Head of research, Susan Kuivalainen, said: “The trust in the pension system has gone down more often among the respondents who are anxious about their income and whose income has dropped during the corona crisis. This result corresponds to those of previous surveys in which unemployment has been observed to affect trust.”

When it came to how the system could be improved, the most favoured option was increasing the pension contributions paid by employees and employers, with 42 per cent agreeing with the measure.

A third (33 per cent) favoured raising the retirement age, 10 per cent would cut benefits for future retirees and 7 per cent agreed with cutting benefits for current retirees.

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