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NEWS - 5. May 2017 09:25

SEB pension experiment: The pension of Estonia does not allow a life worth living

At the start of April, SEB Elu- ja Pensionikindlustus began an experiment “Life in the shoes of a retired person”, in the framework of which representatives from three generations tried to live off of an Estonian pension for one month. The project showed how difficult it is to cope with at least 60-percent drop of income and what choices need to be made in order to make do on pension.

The experiment that aims to increase the awareness of the citizens and the research that also maps the readiness for pension among the citizens of Estonia already for a third year in row highlight essential points that influence our future pension significantly.

  • Expectations for pension are unrealistically high and it is hard to cope with a great drop of income. The SEB Pension-readiness research indicated that people want more than 90% of their pre-retirement income for their pension. The state pension and the second pension pillar combined will provide them with 40% of their pre-retirement income. More than 50% of people who participated in the research said that it is difficult to cope during their retirement when the money they must support themselves with is decreased.
  • Everybody knows that preparation for retirement is important, but they start saving too late. Only 15% of people in employable age who participated in the survey collect additional funds to finance their retirement. However, the research shows that before coming 45 years of age, supplementary savings for retirement are among the last financial priorities.
  • They rely too much on alternatives to pension. The research shows that relying on different income alternatives is decreased significantly when a person gets older. Only a third of retired people continue working and the same number of people have sold their real estate and live with their children.

Indrek Holst, Chairman of the Management Board, SEB Elu- ja Pensionikindlustus: “While the retired people of today have grown up in a cultural space in which there was control over money and people lived sparingly, the working people of today are used to other kind of life standard. People who today are 30, 40, and 50 years old enjoy the many options in life, consume more and afford things that the older generation could not. They do not want to give up this quality of life when they retire. This is where the future pension gap shall come from, in case of which the income decrease of 60% shall not allow to keep the current standard of life. In order to avoid a huge collapse in the future, now is the time to make fundamental repairs in the pension system.”

As a result of the one-month social experiment, only one of the participants, ETV+ presenter Andrei Titov managed to live off the pension. Weekly video blogs created during the project are available at

You can view a short video introducing the entire course of the experiment here.


For more information:

Julia Piilmann
Communications Manager
Marketing and Communications Division
SEB Pank

Phone +372 665 5340
Address Tornimäe 2, 15010 Tallinn

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