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Work of the project on social security (Toimi) completed
Common key pillars agreed for the social security reform

Government Communications Department
Publication date 25.2.2019 10.30 | Published in English on 26.2.2019 at 16.56
Press release 118
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Key pillars for the social security reform on which the future social security system should build have been agreed in a parliamentary process. The work was concerned with identifying the value choices that require political decisions to be made. There is a strong consensus on proceeding with the reform step-by-step. The purpose of the Toimi project on basic social security and activity (Toimi) was to support policy-makers and political parties preparing for the parliamentary elections in deciding on their views regarding the social security reform.

In the project shared views were drawn up on the grounds for the reform and premises for the next government terms. The project offers material for decision-making to make it easier to carry through a major overhaul of the social security system. The parliamentary process on the matter took a little over a year.

The parliamentary monitoring group has a shared understanding of the need for the social security reform. Over the years services and benefits have followed development paths of their own, and the changing demographic structure challenges the sustainability of our social security system. The increasingly varied life circumstances and ways to earn a living resulting from the transformation of work and technological advancement are major challenges for the flexibility of the system.

The broadly-based parliamentary monitoring group of the project has outlined the key pillars that constitute the objectives of the social security reform. The monitoring group considers it important that the reform will be carried through step-by-step. The social security system of the future should build on five key pillars:

  • Social security must respond to the constitutional obligation of providing care.
  • Social security must contribute to responding to people’s needs for inclusion and meaningful life and support employment, activity and lifelong learning.
  • Services and benefits included in social security must be better interconnected.
  • Social security supports a balance between individual’s rights and obligations in a way that is compatible with the public finances.
  • The social security system must be clearer and more readily understandable.

The need for reform was considered through the people’s life circumstances and future wellbeing, not in terms of individual benefits and current processes. During the project considerable emphasis was placed on the need to improve the ways how skills and competences, employment, livelihood and housing are interconnected both in people’s lives and in social structures. In future the social security system must be even better capable of responding to the requirements posed by the changing life situations, forms of employment and necessary skills and competences. People should be able to anticipate their incomes even in changing circumstances.

Advanced technologies open up opportunities to reform the current system to make the future system smoother and more strongly people-oriented.

The basic choices in support of political decision-making have been indicated by simplified templates that describe the different ways to emphasise things. The project does not propose or recommend specific solutions, but the templates describe the directions and strategies based on the values, with the decisions on them to be made by the politicians.

The monitoring group of the project discussed the templates at various stages, but no attempt was made to put them in any order of priority or give an opinion on whether and how they should be used in the future preparation. The templates serve as the basis for conducting a preliminary assessment of the impacts that the different kinds of basic choices may have.

Inquiries: Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary, chair of the project, tel. +358 295 160 280, Liisa Heinämäki, Project Manager, tel. +358 50 567 6071 and Noora Mahlavuori, Project Coordinator, tel. +358 295 160 486, Prime Minister's Office