Varma to chronicle company’s history

about Varma

Varma will soon begin compiling the company’s history into a book. The operations of Varma and its predecessor companies will be documented in a comprehensive historical chronicle. The company’s roots date back to 1926, when Reinsurance Company Varma’s pension insurance department was established. Varma in its current form was launched on 1st July, 1998, when Pension Sampo and some two thirds of Pension Varma merged.

“Varma and its predecessor companies have a long history in insurance and working with customer companies. We now want to research this path and produce a high-quality record of it,” says Varma’s CEO, Risto Murto.

The historical account will be written by Doctor of Social Sciences Matti Hannikainen. Hannikainen is currently a researcher at Tampere University’s Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research, which is funded by the Academy of Finland, as well as a lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Helsinki. Hannikainen was the main researcher for the book Ansioiden mukaan, which was published in 2012 and describes the history of the earnings-related pension scheme in the private sector.

Hannikainen will begin working on Varma’s history book in August 2017 for an estimated three years.

“Varma’s history is full of interesting events and development paths. The company’s and its predecessors’ operations broadly reflect the development of both Finnish society as a whole and its social security system. The path from initial small-scale group pension insurance operations to becoming an implementer of statutory pension insurance and a major investor has been long and eventful. The earnings-related pension cover provided by Varma over the years has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of Finns. The company’s connection to companies as both a pension insurer and an investor has also been extensive and close,” says Hannikainen.

Further information:
Katri Viippola, SVP, HR, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, tel. +358 400 129 500,
Matti Hannikainen, University Researcher, tel. +358 50 339 3824,

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company is the most solvent earnings-related pension company and largest private investor in Finland. The company is responsible for the statutory earnings-related pension cover of some 860,000 people in the private sector. Premiums written totalled EUR 4.6 billion in 2015 and pension payments stood at EUR 5.2 billion. Varma’s investment portfolio amounted to EUR 42.4 billion at the end of September 2016.

About Matti Hannikainen:
Doctor of Social Sciences Matti Hannikainen (born 1970) is a researcher at Tampere University’s Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research, which is funded by the Academy of Finland. He is also a lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Helsinki. Hannikainen’s key research projects have focussed on economic crises, labour markets and the Finnish welfare state. He obtained a doctoral degree in economic and social history from the University of Helsinki in 2005. His doctoral thesis dealt with the topic of the Great Depression of the 1930s and the labour market in Helsinki’s construction industry.

His 2012 book “Ansioiden mukaan” recounts the history of the earnings-related pension scheme in the private sector and was funded by the Finnish Centre for Pensions and TELA. The book was co-authored by Jussi Vauhkonen. In his current project at the University of Tampere, Hannikainen’s focus is on long-term history, from the early forms of livelihood in agrarian society to the modern institutions of the welfare state. Prior to the University of Tampere, Hannikainen was a visiting researcher at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.

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