Successful Co-Operation on Official Statistics: 30 Years' Experience in Connecting Administrative Registers
Mikko Pellinen1, Vesa Ylönen2
1Finnish Centre for Pensions, Helsinki, Finland; 2The Social Insurance Institution, Helsinki, Finland

In broad outline, the Finnish pension system consists of the national pension scheme and the statutory earnings-related pension scheme as well as certain acts enacted against specific risks. The national pension scheme covers all persons who are permanently resident in Finland and the earnings-related pension scheme covers all employees and self-employed persons. The person may receive simultaneously both pensions from different schemes and also pensions of different types.

In 1980 the Finnish Centre for Pensions (FCP) and the Social Insurance Institution (SII) were requested to co-operate in producing statistics to measure and monitor the number of pension recipients and their total pension income. The statistics should include all pension recipients, avoiding duplication in the collection of data and totalling recipients' retirement benefits from various sources.

The joint data in the statistics is based on the pension registers of the FCP and the SII and also covers complementary pensions provided under certain acts. The individual level registers are combined into a data warehouse for joint statistics in the FCP. The statistics derived from the joint data give a comprehensive overall picture of pensions paid in Finland. The scope of statistics and thus also their quality have seen several improvements. The central concepts have also been defined in greater detail and the formation of variables improved.

The combining of registers has developed over 30 years into a very smooth process. Particular attention has been given to the quality of the statistics; for example, both statistical yearbooks are today part of the Official Statistics of Finland.


Statistical Yearbook of Pensioners in Finland,

Keywords: Administrative register; Pension system; Quality; Official statistics

Biography: 1. Presenter: Mikko Pellinen, M.Pol.Sc.

Head of Statistics Department (since 1998), Finnish Centre for Pensions

Earlier carrier: Project Manager (11years), Statistics Planner (4y), Researcher (10y) all in Finnish Centre for Pensions

Membership of international societies: Elected Member of ISI since August 2001, also member of IAOS.

2. Presenter: Vesa Ylönen, M.Sc.

Head of the Statistical Unit (since 2004), Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)

Earlier carrier: System Analyst (6 years) also in Kela

Both presenters have many years' experience in producing statistics. Nowadays they head the units, who produce and combine the administrative registers of their organizations for statistical purposes. The best-known result of this collaboration is the Statistical Yearbook of Pensioners in Finland since 1981 and since 2003 this publication has been included in the series of Official Statistics of Finland.