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10% pensioners struggle with low income : Survey

Published : 12 Jun 2018, 02:05

Updated : 12 Jun 2018, 10:31

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by Finnish Centre for Pensions.

About ten per cent of the pensioners in Finland struggle financially needing to cut down on necessities such as medication and health care, according to a recent survey conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Approximately half of the pensioners struggle to some degree to cover regular expenses. On the other hand, half of the pensioners are fairly content with their income level, said a press release.

The situation of the low-income, the disabled and single pensioners is the worst and they stated that they have had to cut down on necessities such has health care, medication and food, said the survey results.

“Those in poor health have to spend more money on health care, which leaves them with less money for other necessities. It follows that the experience of livelihood of pensioners on a disability pension is clearly weaker than that of other pensioners,” said researcher Liisa-Maria Palomäki.

Half of the pensioners experience some degree of difficulties in covering regular expenses. One third states that they have no money left after necessary expenses.

The survey was conducted based on interviews with pensioners where about 3,000 respondents participated in 2017. The survey was sent to 4,000 pensioners in Finland.

The respondents were aged between 55 and 85 years and had retired on an old-age, disability or partial disability pension. The response rate was exceptionally high: 73 per cent.

“The pensioners reported their everyday worries in the open-ended survey questions. The answers show that many adjust their consumption habits to meet their disposable income,” economist Kati Ahonen said.

The survey also showed that half of the Finnish pensioners are fairly content with their income.

Two thirds of them have money left to spend after covering the necessities. Roughly 40 per cent of the pensioners are able to put aside some money. In addition, every fifth pensioner said they provide financial support to close relatives.

Pensioners sharing a household were more satisfied with their income than those who live alone. The same can be said for those who were in good health.

“According to a study we published last year, the average income of pensioners has developed positively in the last two decades. The differences between the objective income indicators and people’s subjective experiences, and the underlying causes for these differences, have to be studied further,” Palomäki added.