Partial disability pension to facilitate continuing work

Partial disability pensions have become more common, particularly in public sector work, which is why it is important to understand the changes in the work ability of pension recipients while receiving the pension and the factors that explain the decisions to continue working. The project examines the changes in perceived work ability and physical workload among partial disability pensioners, and how changes are associated with the risk of transitioning to a full disability pension.
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The project’s target group is formed by public sector employees who are on partial disability pension.

The project aims to determine the following:

  • Does the experience of one’s own work ability change while receiving a partial disability pension, and how are these changes associated with the transitions from partial to full disability pension

  • The connection between changes in physical workload and a partial disability pensioner´s work ability, and the prognosis for continuing at work.

  • The significance of physical workload on work ability among partial disability pensioners within groups divided based on illness.

  • The impact of whether or not the term of the partial disability pension is fixed on the links between physical workload and work ability.

Data and methods

The research materials will be compiled from the survey responses of the Helsinki Health Study and the Finnish Public Sector Study as well as the register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK). The responses of the partial disability pensioners covered by the Helsinki Health Study will be analysed for the years 2000‒2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 by forming three cohorts and linking the responses to ETK’s register data on disability pensions for the period 2000‒2021. The survey responses of the Finnish Public Sector Study (2008, 2012 and 2016) will be linked to register data on disability pensions between 2008 and 2018.  We will use statistical methods to assess the cause-and-effect relationships between the factors.

Results and impact

The study will provide new information on the connection between physical workload and work ability among those who are incapable of performing their full duties due to the reduced work ability through illness and whose work tasks have already been lightened through part-time arrangements. The project will also produce new information on the impacts of the illness group on which the pension is based and the possible fixed term of the partial disability pension on the connections between physical workload and work ability.

The results of the project will be published in international scientific journals and a final report. Non-technical publications, such as an article in an occupational health care trade journal and a blog text, will also be released during the project.

More information about the project

Mari-Anne Wallius

Mari-Anne Wallius

project manager, researcher

mari-anne.wallius [at]
+358 30 474 3283

Our experts

Mari-Anne Wallius

Jenni Ervasti

Jouko Remes

The partner for the project is the University of Helsinki.


The project is funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

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