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The Finnish Social Security Committee has completed its position statements

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 17.12.2021 9.16
Press release

The Social Security Committee has identified the main problem areas of the current social security system and issues now 18 positions for reforming the system.

The positions are based on five reports compiled by the Committee. Four reports focused on problems in the system, while the fifth report described the main choices involved in and the basic principles of the Finnish social security system. The themes discussed in the positions include complexity of the social security system, balance between gainful employment and social security, last-resort assistance, basic social security and housing, and balance between services and benefits.

“The problems the committee has identified in Finland’s current social security system reveal that we are dealing with challenges that are typical of advanced welfare states and very different from the problems faced in the early stages of welfare-state development. There are problems with implementation and administration, which manifest as a complicated system, where services are difficult to use, people fall through the system’s cracks and implementation boundaries exist between administrative divisions. Another major theme is the differences of opinion over the boundaries and purpose of advanced welfare states, such as how benefits should be adjusted to earnings and what are the boundaries between individuals and society in terms of rights and obligations,” says Pasi Moisio, Chair of the Social Security Committee.

Position statement headings by subject area

The complexity of social security

  • Long-term harmonisation of social security legislation
  • There is (needless) variation in income concepts and the times of application and disbursement
  • There is variation in the concept of a family and in consideration of close relationships
  • Complexity of implementation: Lack of information flow between public authorities
  • Complexity of implementation: Transaction services are disconnected
  • Issues concerning information pools and use of analytics

Harmonising social security and gainful employment

  • Supporting part-time work
  • Social security and self-employment
  • Incentive and information traps in the social security system
  • Studying and developing skills
  • Incapacity benefits and part-time work

Social security of last resort, basic security and housing

  • Income support as a supplement to basic security
  • Income support in place of basic security
  • Housing costs and their replacement by housing allowance and income support

Harmonisation of services and benefits

  • Differences in the purpose, objectives and operating logic of service and benefit sys-tems
  • Participation in services fails to motivate beneficiaries
  • Dysfunctionality of the benefit and service path for individuals

Areas beyond the scope of the problem reports

  • Continuous learning and skills development

Further work for the interim report of the Committee (=roadmap)

A set of studies will be carried out using the positions as basis for finding solutions to the problems in the current system. Another study will examine alternative ways of organising social security for the purpose of a longer-term reform of the system. These alternative ways can include basic income, negative income tax, life account, consolidation of basic security benefits, and a cause-based social security system. Once the studies have been completed, the Social Security Committee will outline the principles and structures of a long-term social security reform in its interim report. At a later stage, the Committee may also take a stand on other issues related to social security.

Social security is being reformed by a parliamentary committee with a term from spring 2020 until 2027.


Pasi Moisio, Research Professor, Chair of the Social Security Committee, tel. +358 29 524 7228, [email protected]
Heli Backman, Director General, 2nd Vice-Chair of the Social Security Committee, tel. +358 295 163 668
Liisa Siika-aho, Director, 3rd Vice-Chair of the Social Security Committee, tel. +358 295 163 085
Tuulia Nieminen, Communications Specialist, tel. +358295 163 635
Email addresses are in the format [email protected], except for Pasi Moisio.


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