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Pension Forum gathers together actors from various fields to discuss pension issues

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 10.3.2008 6.50
Press release -

The Minister of Social Affairs and Health Liisa Hyssälä set up on 10 March a Pension Forum to monitor and assess the implementation of the pension reforms made in 2005 and 2007 in Finland. The Pension Forum will assess the implementation of the pensions policy in particular from the perspective of preparing for population ageing and promote the dialogue on pension issues between the bodies involved.

According to Minister Hyssälä the purpose is to gather together a broad representation of the bodies that decide on, implement and assess the Finnish pensions policy.

“Pension issues and the impact of ageing on the basis of financing pensions give rise to much debate. Citizens need clear and unambiguous information about the pension provision and how it is financed. We need a forum that gathers various actors around the same table. This helps to promote the consensus on the national pensions policy,” said Minister Hyssälä.

Minister Hyssälä stresses that the aim of the forum is to postpone the retirement age, to guarantee adequate pension provision for the citizens in the future, and to ensure its sustainable financing in the long term.

The Pension Forum is chaired by the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Liisa Hyssälä, the vice chairperson being the Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko. The other representatives of the Government are Minister of Labour Tarja Cronberg and Minister of Culture and Sport Stefan Wallin.

The Pension Forum will convene 2 to 3 times a year, and representatives of the following bodies are invited to each forum: the political parties represented in Parliament, public administration and the insurance sector (Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Finnish Centre for Pensions, Federation of Finnish Financial Services FK, Social Insurance Institution, Finnish Pension Alliance TELA); the labour market organisations and entrepreneurs (Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff AKAVA, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, Local Authority Employers in Finland, Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners MTK, Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Confederation of Salaried Employees STTK, Office for the Government as Employer); economic research institutions (Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, Labour Institute for Economic Research, Pellervo Economic Research Institute, Government Institute for Economic Research); and other organisations (interest organisation of pensioners’ associations EETU, Social Welfare and Health Care Organisations in Finland YTY, Finnish Youth Cooperation Allianssi).

The term of the forum starts on 15 March and continues at most to the end of the term of office of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen’s second Cabinet.

Background

The earnings-related pensions scheme was reformed in 2005. The objective of the reform is to postpone the average retirement age by 2 to 3 years and to adapt the pension scheme to the growth in the average life expectancy. This reduces the pressures to raise the earnings-related pension contribution. The prerequisites for combining and simplifying the employee pension acts for the private sectors were created simultaneously.

The Employees Pensions Act entered into force at the beginning of 2007. The most important amendment from the point of view of employees is the pension record that is sent annually to the employees. The risk bearing capacity of the authorised pension providers (employee pension institutions) was increased in the context of the financing reform of 2007. The aim is to improve the revenues of the employee pension funds, to increase the solvency of the authorised pension providers and thus to reduce the pressures to raise the earnings-related pension contributions.

For further information please contact: Terttu Savolainen, State Secretary, tel. +358 9 160 74099, Special Adviser Marja Tallavaara, tel. +358 40 501 2889.

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