More under-40 pensioners in Finland

A growing number of people in Finland aged 16 to 39 are drawing full state pensions, says the Social Insurance Institution (Kela). The figure has risen by some 20 percent in the past 10 years. Last year 26,000 people under age 40 were on full pensions.

The overall ranks of those paid state pensions had been declining for more than three decades, but last year began to climb again. Altogether more than half a million people in Finland – or nearly one tenth of the population – were paid state pensions. However only 76,000 were paid full pensions, with roughly two thirds of those 40 or older.

A state pension is classed as a work disability pension or an old-age pension, depending on the person’s age. Three quarters of full state pensions are work disability pensions, with more than half going to men.

“Eight out of 10 of full state pensions are work disability pensions paid out on the basis of mental health or behavioural disorders. This is a larger share than among other recipients of Kela work disability pensions,” says Reeta Pösö, a statistical analyst at Kela.

According to Pösö, the most common reasons for obtaining a full pension under age 40 are mental health or behavioural disorders. The most common of these include depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and developmental disabilities.

To be eligible for a full state pension, any earnings-related pension must total less than 55.54 euros a month. This year the full monthly state pension for individuals living alone is 628.85 euros. Those who are married, cohabiting or in registered partnerships only get 557.79 euros.