Finnair’s pilot supplementary pension costs may increase due to Finnish employee pension reform

Finnair Plc            Stock Exchange Release                  24 September 2015 at 8:00 am EET

In autumn 2014, the Finnish labour market organisations agreed on reforms to the public pension system, involving, among other things, a gradual increase of the statutory retirement age from 63 to 65 years. The Finnish Parliament is expected to adopt the Act in late 2015, and it is expected to become effective at the beginning of 2017.

Finnair’s pilot pension benefits, which exceed the existing statutory pension benefits in Finland, form part of their collective labour agreement. Therefore, Finnair has conducted negotiations with its pilots in an effort to adjust the conditions of their defined-benefit supplementary pensions to mitigate the impact on Finnair of the legislative amendment; however, no agreement has yet been reached.

If the legislation on reforming the employee pension scheme passes, as currently written in the Government Bill, but the pension benefits of Finnair’s pilots’ cannot be aligned with the public pension reform, Finnair would be liable for the additional costs associated with the implementation of the legislative reform. Consequently, its pension obligations would increase by a total of approximately EUR 30 million. This would be reflected in the balance sheet after the adoption of the Act, potentially in the financial statements ending December 31, 2015. In addition, the change would increase annual staff costs by approximately EUR 2 million.

The supplementary pension benefit negotiations concern approximately 700 pilots currently employed by Finnair. On average, Finnair pilots retire with a supplementary pension at the age of 58 years.

The supplementary pensions under the collective labour agreement for new pilots being recruited by Finnair are defined-contribution; therefore, the legislative reform has no impact on the related pension cost.

Finnair is actively exploring ways to mitigate the impact of implementing the pension reform, which was agreed by the Finnish labour market organisations, without incurring undue extra costs to the company.

Further information:
Finnair communications, tel. +358 9 818 4020, comms(a)

Nasdaq Helsinki
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Finnair is a network airline specialising in passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. Helsinki’s geographical location gives Finnair a competitive advantage, since the fastest connections between many European destinations and Asian megacities fly over Finland. Finnair’s vision is to offer its passengers a unique Nordic experience, and its mission is to offer the smoothest, fastest connections in the northern hemisphere via Helsinki and the best network to the world from its home markets. Finnair is the only Nordic carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking and a member of the oneworld alliance. In 2014, Finnair’s revenues amounted to EUR 2,400 million and it had a personnel of almost 4,500 at the year-end. Finnair Plc’s shares are quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki.

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Finnair is specialised in flying between Europe and Asia via Helsinki. Finnair's strategy is based on the growing markets in Asia, the fastest connections between Europe and Asia, high-quality service, and cost-efficient, punctual operations. Founded in 1923, Finnair is one of the world's oldest continuously operating airlines. It is a member of oneworld, the leading airline alliance for quality-conscious business travelers.