The Finnish welfare model will not abandon people. The social security system must guarantee a sufficient livelihood to all citizens in various situations in life, e.g. during unemployment, sickness, studies, family leaves and old age. Working and encouraging to work must be the cornerstone of our social security in future, too.

Development of work and social security legislation

Changes in work will challenge the Finnish social security system – when current duties disappear, new ones are created and the forms of working become fragmented. The current system is bureaucratic, services incoherent and an individual’s opportunities to influence are scarce. The social security system must be developed to a direction that is more encouraging and considerate to individual needs and challenges.

Zero-hour contracts and limitations to contracts of varying working time do not secure employees’ position sufficiently. Hence, the job security of the Contracts of Employment Act must be improved and the establishment of working time must be legislated for. An employee doing part-time work must have better opportunities to accept other work.

It is likely that with the changes in working life, in addition to traditional paid work, an increasing number of people will employ themselves as entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals, freelancers or grant-holders. As the forms of working diversify, it is of increasing importance to recognise the position of the self-employed in the development of labour and social security legislation.

Pension brings security

The Finnish occupational pension scheme is essentially good, and there is no need to make great changes in direction. However, the pension system must develop in line with the requirements of the changing society, so that the ability to pay for the pensions will remain in future, too. Especially the extended life expectancy, aging population and decreasing birth rate pose a challenge to our occupational pension scheme. It is our goal to balance the funding for occupational pensions. This is essentially affected by the position of the youth in working life and young people’s access to the labour market.

Employment pension, disability pension, earnings-related unemployment benefit or employees’ group life insurance are based on the pay we have earned while working. In many respects, our social security and pension systems are funded by wage earners themselves. Hence it is important that we are involved in the decision-making on these matters.