Annual Report 2014


Good workability means lower pensions costs

Our workability management and rehabilitation services help client companies to save in pension and sick-leave costs. Workability management that is linked to the company’s strategy promotes competitiveness and productivity.

Workability management forms a whole that involves systematic promotion of good leadership, smooth co-operation and productivity and support for employees’ recovery from work and prevention of disability. It reduces absences due to sickness, lowers disability costs and improves well-being at work and productivity. Varma co-operates annually with hundreds of client companies to foster longer careers.

 Varma is an expert in workability management. Together with our clients we analyse the disability risks of the company, and the means for lowering them. We also assess the company’s future concerns and need for renewal, and their impact on, e.g. supervisory work and workability.

There is strong demand for Varma’s workability management services; in 2014 we had a total of around 1,400 related customer meetings.

Workability management reduces absences due to sickness, lowers disability costs and improves well-being at work and productivity.

The online Workability Management Information Service tool meant for managing disability costs is available for those employers liable to pay excess. They can use the tool to analyse their current disability risk and assess the savings potential relating to the disability contribution category.

Workability management should be result-oriented. Goals and indicators can relate to absences due to illness, the improvement in the disability contribution category, the quality and smoothness of work and supervisory work.

Workability management brought VR savings of EUR 11.1 million

The goals set for the rail and road passenger services company VR’s well-being activities in 2010 consisted of improving well-being at work, managing absences due to illness, prolonging careers, reducing accidents at work and managing occupational health care costs.

In 2014, the results speak for themselves. Satisfaction with supervisory work has increased, and the sick leave rate, the number of disability pensions and costs caused by accidents at work are down. At the same time, follow-up reporting on disability cases has been brought to a new level.

Savings created through lower disability contributions and reduced health care and sick leave costs amounted to EUR 11.1 million by 2014.


Rehabilitation can break the cycle leading to disability pension

Statutory vocational rehabilitation gives employees and entrepreneurs the opportunity to continue in working life when their capacity to work is threatened. In 2014, Varma’s rehabilitation services helped nearly 1,640 people – 72 per cent of all rehabilitants – return to work.

In 2014, the number of rehabilitation applications received by Varma continued to grow. The total number of applications exceeded 2,100. The weakened economic situation is evident in the rehabilitation applications, as many of the applicants are now unemployed or engaged in co-determination negotiations.

Varma’s and Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company’s trial initiative, “Stepping stone back to working life”, is targeted at highly educated people, who have been working in demanding supervisory and expert tasks but have lost their work capacity as a result of severe and longstanding mental health disorders. The goal is to assist them back to working life through, for example, work trials and job coaching. In their new tasks these people could use their existing expertise, but with scaled-down demands and result expectations.

While vocational rehabilitation has been on the rise, disability pensions granted by Varma show a downward trend. In 2014 they declined around 6 per cent. Since 2007 the number of new disability pensions is down 22 per cent, while rehabilitation applications have increased 87 per cent during the same period.

One factor behind this is that occupational health-care providers more readily intervene in prolonged absences due to illness.

In 2014, Varma’s rehabilitation services helped nearly 1,640 people – 72 per cent of all rehabilitants –
return to work.