Pro Gradu Award to an OBS alumnus

The annual master’s thesis award of the the Finnish Centre for Pensions goes to Jonathan Strömberg who graduated from the Oulu Business School in 2020. In his thesis, Strömberg examines the financial sustainability of the Finnish occupational pension system, comparing the Finnish, Dutch and Danish pension systems.

The topic of Strömberg's master’s thesis was a result of a night-out with friends. One Friday night, they discussed whether the Finnish pension system is good or bad. Strömberg decided to find out. In his thesis, Stömberg compares the Finnish pension system to Dutch and Danish systems.

According to Strömberg, the Finnish system is fairly successful but some changes are needed, too. For example, employment rates need to be improved and reforming solvency regulations is important. Also, raising pension contributions is probably inevitable due to the demographic development.

Although the current system is not perfect, Strömberg does not believe a contribution-based system would be better.

“I believe that we need to look out for each other. I shy away from a society in which only those who can afford to pay will do well. That said, the Finnish pension system has flaws that need to be fixed”, he states in the press release of the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Instead, we could learn from the Dutch pension system. In the Netherlands, pension investors have more freedom regarding investment risks and the cost structures are lower.

The thesis demonstrates extensive familiarity with the topic

The winner of the Pro Gradu Award was selected by doctor Jukka Rantala, retired managing director of the Finnish Centre for Pensions. He justifies the choice as follows:

”Strömberg’s master’s thesis deals with a central totality of the earnings-related pension system and examines the most important factors affecting the system’s financial stability. Comparing the Finnish pension system to those in the Netherlands and Denmark was also a smart choice since these two countries top most international pension system comparisons. In addition, the thesis proves Strömberg’s wide knowledge of the field.”

The Pro Gradu Award of the Finnish Centre for Pensions is granted to a a distinguished Master’s thesis on a topic of interest to pension provision and accepted at a Finnish university in the previous calendar year. The discipline is not limited. The award is 2,000 euros.

Oulu Business School congratulates Jonathan Strömberg on a great achievement.

Strömberg's thesis is available on Jultika

Press release of the Finnish Centre for Pensions

Last updated: 4.6.2021