FINLAND - The Finnish government has established a Pensions Forum to monitor the implementation of recent pension reforms.

Liisa Hyssälä, the minister of social affairs and health, revealed the Forum will assess the implementation of the pensions policy introduced in 2005 and 2007, in particular from the perspective of preparing for an ageing population and promoting dialogue between the organisations involved.

Hyssälä said the aim of the Forum is to bring together a "broad representation" of the bodies which decide on, implement and assess the Finnish pensions policy, and to convene meetings two or three times a year.

The Forum, which began its term on March 15, will focus on the reforms of 2005 and 2007, which included increasing the average retirement age by two to three years and combining the existing pension regimes into a single Employees Pension Act.

As a result, Hyssälä emphasised the Forum will aim to postpone individuals' retirement age, to guarantee adequate pension provision for members in the future, and to ensure sustainable financing in the long-term.

She said: "Pension issues and the impact of ageing on the basis of financing pensions give rise to much debate. Citizens need clear and unambiguous information about the pension provision and how it is financed."

"We need a forum that gathers various actors around the same table. This helps to promote the consensus on the national pensions policy," added Hyssälä.

The Forum will be chaired by Hyssälä, with Paula Risikko, the minister of health and social services, fulfilling the role of vice chairperson, while Tarja Cronberg, the minister of labour, and Stefan Wallin, the minister of culture and sport will also represent the Finnish government on the board.

In addition, representatives from a number of bodies including the Finnish Centre for Pensions, the Finnish Pension Alliance (TELA), and the Government Institute for Economic Research have been invited to attend the Forum meetings.

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