FINLAND - Most employers support the new flexible retirement age introduced as part wide-reaching pension reform that took effect this year, a new study by the Finnish Centre for Pensions has found.
The government raised the lower age limit for the early old-age pension from 60 to 62 and decreased the lower age limit for the ordinary old-age pension from 65 to 63 as part of the reforms. In addition, the pension of workers aged between 63 and 68 now accrues on annual earnings at a higher rate of 4.5%.
The new reforms, which came into effect on January 1, are aimed at encouraging older people to continue working longer.
According to the study, 70% of employers see the flexible retirement age as a positive change, while a fourth see it as negative. Just over half of those interviewed thought the new retirement age limit was appropriate while a good third thought it was too high, the centre said.
Commenting on the findings, Jukka Rantala, managing director of the Finnish Centre for Pensions said: “Working life should be made attractive for those who reach the age of 63 and who are considering the choice between work and retirement.
“The viewpoints of employers and employees on the factors that promote continued work are very similar. A good atmosphere at work, a functioning workplace community, good management and the possibility of influencing one’s own work are among the most important factors.”
On the introduction of higher pension accrual for workers aged 63 to 68, a third of employers estimated that this would see more employees continue working while only a fourth of the oldest employees said they intended to continue working for this reason.
Rantala said he expected attitudes towards the appropriate retirement age would change in the future.
“Most people think that 68 years is too high a retirement age and fairly many are of the opinion that even 62 years is pretty high,” he said. “This cannot be the prevailing attitude in ten years, as the age groups of working age will be clearly smaller than at present.”
The study was based on interviews with almost 2000 people responsible for personnel matters at both private and public sector workplaces and was carried out between June and August last year.
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