The number of pensioners and the euro amount of pensions paid is constantly rising at Varma. Our task is to pay pensions correctly and on time to an increasing number of pensioners.
For our customers, applying for pension is a major decision and one that has an impact on their future, which is why we keep close track of our decisions to ensure that they are accurate and that our service is smooth.
In 2015 we improved the pension application handling process. As a result, we processed old-age pension applications at the end of the year much faster than on average in the sector: in December the average processing time for an old-age pension application was 38 days, in contrast to the sector average of 44 days. Around 5% of pension decisions were issued on the same day as the application was received for processing.
In 2015, we took a new handling system for pension applications fully into use, enabling even smoother services for our private customers.
Number of pensioners increasing
In 2015 Varma paid EUR 5.2 billion in pensions to 337,100 recipients. The number of pensioners has been rising for years due to the change in Finland’s age structure and longer life expectancy.
Through our online service, we provide our customers with up-to-date and practical information about the effects of the pension reform on their pension cover. Our customers can use the pension calculator to get a tangible idea of how the pension reform will affect them. The calculator was used nearly 29,000 times in 2015.
A total of 23,100 new pension decisions were made in 2015, which is some 10% more than in the previous year. The increase is attributed mainly to the rise in old-age pension decisions.
The number of rehabilitation applications grew around 9% from the previous year. Positive rehabilitation decisions increased 41% compared to 2014, and the total number of rehabilitation decisions rose 34% over the previous year.
These increases are due to a legislative change that took effect at the start of 2015 allowing us to make a decision concerning entitlement to rehabilitation in connection with the processing of a disability pension application, even if the customer has not applied for rehabilitation. In 2015, we made some 700 such preliminary rehabilitation decisions, and according to a sample survey, around 25% of them led to rehabilitation. Since 2010, the number of new disability pension applications is down 22%.
Those insured by Varma retire on average at the age of 63.6.
Varma prepares for pension reform
We are preparing for the 2017 pension reform together with our customers. Preparing for the reform is one of our key tasks.
Pension reform in brief
The age limit for old-age pension will gradually rise
Our client companies received information on the pension reform at our ‘Varmasti 2015’ events around the country. Approximately 1,100 client company representatives participated in the events.
Progress of the pension reform
Use of online services on the rise
Varma’s private customers are active users of our online services. The most active user group is those aged between 60 and 64. Those aged 60 and over account for 32% of all users of Varma’s eServices.
Applying for a pension through our website has also steadily become more popular: 46% of all old-age pension applications were submitted electronically in 2015. Late in the year we introduced an online chat service, where our pension experts assist customers in real-time in filling out their pension application. The service was used in November and December by nearly 200 customers. In total, 74% of all private customer contacts took place online in 2015.