The social protection system was introduced as a concept in Finland in the 1930s, despite the fact that various forms of social protection existed before. The most important reform during the said decade was based on the National Pensions Act of 1937. The National Pensions Act that underlies the newer development came into force in 1957. The Health Insurance Act came into force in 1964.
According to Abbreviationfinder, Finland has two pension schemes that complement each other: the working pension, the size of which depends on how long you have been paid, and the national pension, which guarantees a minimum pension if the pension is too low. Since 2005, those aged 63-68 can retire in retirement pensions of their choice. According to the National Pensions Act, the age limit for retirement pension is still 65 years.
Everyone who is 16 and resides in Finland is guaranteed a national pension. In some cases, this also applies to Finnish residents living abroad. Foreign nationals can be granted a national pension when they have lived in Finland for 5 years after they turn 16.
Employers are obliged to take out pension insurance for their employees and thereby finance the employment pension. Early retirement pensions can be paid to people who are 60 years of age and have performed paid work if they were born in 1944 or earlier; For younger age classes, early retirement pension can be paid from the age of 62. Invalid pensions can be granted to people whose illness reduces their ability to work and gain employment. You can also receive an individual early retirement pension because you have long participated in working life if your ability to work has decreased. Individual early retirement was introduced in the mid-1980s. It applies to persons born before 1944 who are under 65 years of age. Part-time pensions can be granted to 58-68-year-old workers or entrepreneurs born in 1947 or later. People born in 1946 or earlier can receive a part-time pension after the age of 56. Front veterans have been granted an early retirement pension before the normal retirement age and a front supplement to the old age pension. Unemployment pension can be granted to long-term unemployed people who are 60 years of age if they were born before 1950. This pension form is no longer available for younger age classes. Family pension is paid after the death of a worker to the widow/widow and to children under 18 years. In addition to these pensions, various supplementary contributions may be granted. Anyone who has become unemployed can have his or her income secured by unemployment benefit. It is paid out through two different systems. Anyone who is not a member of an unemployment fund can receive a basic daily allowance from the national pension institution. Anyone who is a member of the unemployment fund receives income-related daily allowance from their own cash. The conditions for this are, among other things, that you have registered with the Labor Office, is an employee and is available to the labor market. Most pensions and unemployment benefits are counted as taxable income. Interest in private pension insurance is increasing, partly due to concerns that public funding for pensions will be less in the future as the proportion of elderly people increases and the working population decreases in number.
Housing shortage is a problem mainly in the southern parts of the country. It is estimated that there are approximately 8,000 homeless people in Finland, most of whom are single, low-paid men.
Sickness insurance is financed through part of the municipal tax as well as through a fee collected by employers. Public health care is generally free of charge or subsidized. Health insurance reimburses physician fees and costs for care ordered by physicians, often with 60-70 per cent of a certain fixed base rate. This is also applied when using private medical and dental clinics. Medication costs are reimbursed at 42 percent, except for some medicines for long and severe illnesses, as medicine costs are reimbursed at 72 or 100 percent of the portion that exceeds the deductible. The pharmacy may substitute a drug prescribed by a physician for a correspondingly cheaper parallel preparation, provided that the physician or patient does not refuse replacement. Public health services are mainly provided at health stations and hospitals owned by municipalities or municipal associations. For sickness time you can receive sickness benefit after a deductible period of 9 days, a maximum of 300 days per year. People with illnesses or disabilities receive medical rehabilitation if they can thus be given the conditions to gain better working and functional capacity.
In order to reduce families’ child costs, families of children are granted several different types of grants. Pregnant mothers who are resident in Finland, have been pregnant for at least 154 days and have undergone a health examination with a doctor or on counseling before the end of the fourth month of pregnancy are entitled to maternity support. The mother can choose either a maternity pack or a tax-free amount of 140 euros. The package contains clothing and other essentials such as nail scissors, hairbrush, sleeping bag, notebook etc.
Pregnant women and new mothers have the right to paid maternity leave 105 working days. The father has the right to take paternity leave with allowance 18 working days in connection with the child’s birth. In addition, a parent has the right to receive paid sick leave 158 working days. This time can be divided between both parents. Depending on the collective agreement, the employer may pay a salary for part of parental leave. The daily allowance from the health insurance is then paid to the employer. The municipality is obliged to arrange daycare or family daycare for children under school age; for this, a fee is dependent on the family’s income level. Alternatively, you can get home care support for children. This should enable a parent to stay home with the child during the first three years with the right to return to work. Child allowance is paid for each child under 17, and families with several children receive larger allowances per child. Special contributions are paid for the care of long-term sick children. Children are also entitled to maintenance support if the maintenance debtor neglects to pay maintenance allowance or if no maintenance payer has been established.
The proportion of older people in the population is rising steadily in Finland, and this will in the future place ever-increasing demands on the elderly and the health care sector, while the working population is declining. The proportion of the elderly (persons over the age of 64) in 2014 was 19 percent and is expected to grow to 26 percent in 2040. Efforts are being made to change the care of nursing homes so that the proportion of short-term and day care increases and the elderly can stay as long as possible in their own home. Old age homes are run partly by municipalities and municipal associations and partly by private foundations and organizations. Service accommodation and group homes for the elderly are becoming more and more common. However, it is expected that in the future, aging will be healthier than today’s aging due to improved health care.
Consumption of 100% alcohol in Finland in 2013 was 9.1 liters per person plus an estimated “unregistered” consumption of 2.5 liters. The abolished import quotas for travelers and the reduced alcohol taxes in 2004 helped increase alcohol consumption by 10 percent.
The suicide rate among Finnish men is internationally high but decreasing. In 2013, 887 people committed suicide, of which 75 percent were men. The main cause of death is traditionally cardiovascular disease (38 percent of all deaths in 2013). The proportion is declining as a result of healthier living habits.