FINLAND - The self-employed intend to work longer and currently have a higher retirement age than fellow employees, a new survey by the Finnish Centre for Pensions has found.
According to the findings, about half of those who are self-employed intend to continue working until at least 65, compared with only a third of employees.
The centre said in 2003, a third of those self-employed who retired on an old-age pension had reached the age of 65.
“On a general level, we more or less agree that entrepreneurship and work should be continued for longer than we have so far been used to,” Jukka Rantala, managing director, told a seminar on pension provision for the self-employed in Helsinki.
“The trend goes in this direction, but slower than many perhaps wish for.”
The average age for self-employed people with self-employed persons’ pension insurance is almost 46 years, whereas the average age for employees is 40 years, the centre said.
Pensions for the self-employed are currently lower than the average pensions for employees. The confirmed earned income which insurance under the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) is based on was in 2003 slightly over e16000, compared to the corresponding salary for employees of e22500 a year.
“It is no wonder that 70% of the self-employed persons are themselves of the opinion that the self-employed persons’ pension does not meet their expectations, according to a study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions,” Rantala said.
Rantala said the advantages of the statutory pension for the self-employed could most clearly be seen in cases of incapacity for work, as this was the most common reason for retirement. About 45% of the old-age pensions under YEL were newly started and the rest were old-age pensions granted after a disability pension, an unemployment pension or a part-time pension, he added.
“The statutory pension for self-employed persons is an economical way of arranging provision for the event of disability or death of the family breadwinner,” he said. “It should also be kept in mind that the confirmed earned income under YEL is also the basis for calculating the self-employed person’s unemployment allowance and sickness allowance.”
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