FINLAND - Finland’s ministry of social affairs and health has corrected its pensions data it presented to the OECD.

“We have revised the figures because the OECD didn’t include the age multiplier,” a ministry spokesman told IPE.

“In practice this means that if, as we expect, life expectancy increases, the average pension will be adjusted downwards. We have corrected a misunderstanding because we did not realise the OECD was making certain assumptions.”

The OECD statistics and databases have not reflected the funded part of Finland’s pension schemes adequately, according to Matti Leppälä, director responsible for international and legal affairs for the Finnish Pensions Alliance (TELA). The new system is expected to push Finland up the OECD pension rankings.

“Consequently, the €100bn that we have in pension fund money has not been adequately shown in OECD databases or publications,” said Leppälä.

“Until now the OECD has only reflected the performance of the second pillar funds of about €5bn.”

The new arrangement will give a more realistic reflection of the Finnish pensions situation, he noted.

“We will prepare the data on pension fund performance, returns on assets, operating costs and many other issues and give it to the ministry which will forward it to the OECD,” Leppälä added. “The data will be backdated to 2003.”

Meanwhile Finland has changed its minister responsible for pensions.

Tuula Haatainen has taken over as minister of labour and social affairs. She recently succeeded fellow social democrat Sinikka Mönkäre, who had held the post since April 2003.

Finland’s government is a coalition of the centrist Finnish Centre (KESK), the left-of-centre social democrats (SDP) and the conservative Swedish People's Party (SFP).

No policy changes are expected as a result of the move. The change was seen as a rotation of ministers by the SDP as part of a process to promote younger ministers. Mönkäre was seen as a veteran, having held several portfolios previously.