A book chronicling the history of Varma and its predecessor companies was published in November 2020. The book, Varma – Pienestä eläkekonttorista suureksi työeläkeyhtiöksi (Varma – From a small pension bureau to a major employment pension company), was written by docent and Doctor of Social Sciences Matti Hannikainen (Ph.D. History) and published by Otava.
The final chapter of the book, Chapter 11, concisely summarises the various phases of Varma’s history and is now freely accessible on Varma’s website in English, Finnish and Swedish.
Varma’s operations in their current form began in the summer of 1998. The history of its numerous predecessor companies, however, is considerably longer and diverse. The book starts off in 1919 with the establishment of Jälleenvakuutusosakeyhtiö Varma (Reinsurance Company Varma). Voluntary group pension insurance operations were launched in 1926, and the real history of statutory employment pension insurance begins in 1962.
Varma’s history encompasses both the welfare state’s formative years and the recession of the 1990s. Varma as it is today was born out of a series of mergers and acquisitions in the insurance sector. The pension company reflects the changes in white collar work and specialist work, as well as the phases of information technology. The book also takes a look at the position of labour market organisations in Finnish society. Earnings-related pension funds were used to finance business activities and build housing. The employment pension companies of today are major investors.