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SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Population Ageing in Finland: Consequences and Policy Actions Erkki Liikanen Governor Bank of Finland Bank.

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Presentation on theme: "SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Population Ageing in Finland: Consequences and Policy Actions Erkki Liikanen Governor Bank of Finland Bank."— Presentation transcript:

1 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Population Ageing in Finland: Consequences and Policy Actions Erkki Liikanen Governor Bank of Finland Bank of Greece 17 January

2 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Population Ageing in Finland: Consequences and Policy Actions  Demographic change is a global challenge  In Europe Finland is the first country to meet the steep aging due to high post-war ( ) cohorts  Economic consequences of ageing are fundamental  The 2005 Pension Reform in Finland was designed to ease ageing pressures for sustainability of pension system and labour markets  But challenges still remain 2

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5 Population is greying faster in Finland than in other Western countries  Baby-boom (1945 – 19490) cohorts larger that elsewhere  But the peak in fertility rate was also shorter than in other countries and fertility went down soon  Life-expectancy has increased fast in Finland => An exceptionally large but also short baby-boom together with increased longevity brings in Europe the aging challenge first to Finland 5

6 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Demographic Change: Ageing of Baby Boomers 6

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26 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Demographic Change: Ageing of Baby Boomers 26

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29 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Policy challenges  Pension schemes under financial stress: –Low fertility rate: Baby bust generation not able to finance baby boom pensions => Need for pre–funding of pensions –Increasing longevity: Steady increase in oldest age group => Need to lengthen economically active life span  Labour force start to shrink –Labour supply decisions of the baby boom generation critical: If they do not stay longer in work, labour shortages a big problem => Urgent need to increase retirement age  Spending on health and long term care expands –Demand for social and health services increases dramatically =>Need for productivity improvement in public services 29

30 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The Finnish Pension system: main features/1  Two statutory pension schemes –1. National pension scheme guarantees a minimum pension –2. Employment based earnings-related pension scheme  Public pension benefits were 11 % of GDP in 2006 –Earnings-related pensions 9.5 % and national pensions 1.6 % of GDP –National pensions paid only when earnings-related pensions are very small  Occupational and voluntary pension schemes are negligible 30

31 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The Finnish Pension system: main features/2  Earnings-related pension scheme is partly funded –Pre-funded scheme covers a quarter of pension outlays –The rest is financed through PAYG  Despite pre-funding, earnings-related pension scheme is of defined- benefit type –The pre-funding is collective; it has no effect on the size of the pension.  Statutory pensions are taxed as earned income.  Financial position of earnings-related scheme: –The system is running a surplus amounting to 2-3 % of GDP. –The market value of pension fund’s assets was 66 % of GDP in –Mandatory pension funds have more and more diversified their portfolios also internationally 31

32 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The 2005 Pension Reform was designed to meet the challenges of ageing  The main objectives of the reform were: 1) To make the earnings-related pension system financially more sustainable, 2) to increase labour market participation of senior employees and 3) to make the pension system more equitable and internally consistent 32

33 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The Key Elements of 2005 Pension Reform to improve the sustainability  The increase of the pre-funding –Current mandatory pension funds are large in international standards, but not large enough to smooth the demographic burden in Finland, –Funding of the pension schemes must be increased by 7.5 per cent of the wage sum in  The benefits will be linked to life-expectancy –Life expectancy coefficient will adjust the pensions to the changes in longevity as of

34 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The Key Elements of the Reform to increase labour market participation of senior employees  Flexible retirement age from 63 to 68 has been introduced.  Early pension schemes have been closed or tightened of and access to other pathways has been restricted  the accrual rate has been increased for senior employees. –In age pension will accrue at rate 1.5, in age at rate 1.9 and from 63 to 68 at rate of 4.5 per cent. –In old system standard rate  The cap on the replacement rate has been abolished 34

35 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Elements in Pension Reforms to make system more equitable and internally consistent  Benefits will be based on life-time earnings  Pension indexation rules have been changed –Pension index is a mix: 20 % weight of wages and 80 % weight of consumer prices. –Before weights were 50/50 up to age 65 and after that 20/80. 35

36 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND The objectives of the reform:  Effective pension age is expected to increase about 3 years from 60 to 63  Extension of working careers of older workers is estimated to increase the overall employment rate by ½- 1 percentage points  As a result, need for an increase in the contribution rate is expected to diminish by 3-4 percentage points to 25 per cent. 36

37 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Have the 2005 pension reform been a success: What can we see from latest data? 37

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41 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Future challenges  Pension contribution rate remains high even if the objectives of the reform were achieved. The reform will not be able to curb the need raise the contribution rate. –Will the contribution rate be too high for the competitiveness? –Does it cause efficiency losses? (According to Bank of Finland study, for example, employment losses caused by contribution hikes can be substantial.)  The long transition period protects older workers. Young generations may challenge it. –The reform in unemployment pensions schemes and life expectancy adjustments will be effective only starting from age cohorts 1949 or –Introduction of life expectancy coefficient favour older generations  Lack of transparency may counteract the positive labour supply effects 41

42 SUOMEN PANKKI | FINLANDS BANK | BANK OF FINLAND Conclusions  Ageing is not an issue of the future but of today in Finland  Policy responses have been a combinations of sticks and carrots. –Sticks: life-expectancy adjustment in replacement ratio and more unfavourable pension indexation –Carrots: generous accrual ratio for old workers.  Today a general view is that pension reform will ease ageing pressures on labour market and pension financing. Is it enough?  A huge challenge will be to increase productivity in social and health services. 42


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