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Men reach salary peak 10 years earlier than women, pension centre says

On average, women earn nearly 10,000 euros less per year than men in Finland, according to the pensions centre.

Viidenkymmenen euron seteleitä.
Women's average salaries are some 25% lower than men's. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

New data from the Finnish Centre for Pensions sheds more light on the income gap between women and men. The centre’s latest survey shows that the average man attains his earnings peak around age 42, while for the average women it takes a decade longer.

Men’s earned income usually rises steadily from age 20 to around age 40, whereas women’s income development tends to stagnate around age 30. Women’s earnings often begin to rise again when they’re in their mid-30s.

And while women’s salaries begin to rise again, they still have not usually caught with men’s a decade later.

If woman wants to be among the highest-earning 10 percent of women, she must earn some 4,200 euros a month. For men the corresponding figure is about 5,600 euros.

Men’s average wages 25% higher than women’s

The average wage-earner’s salary was 2,860 euros a month last year, while the median income was 2,610 euros. In other words, half of all workers earned less than 2,610 euros while half earned more.

The average man, however, earned 3,260 euros a month while his female counterpart only earned 2,470 – or about 25 percent less. On an annual basis, this gap added up to some 9,500 euros.

The Pension Centre blames the wage gap on the gender split in the labour market. Women are more likely to work part-time and to bear the main responsibility for child care.

“Women use more than 90 per cent of all child care benefits, which is reflected in earnings and later in pensions as well,” notes Jari Kannisto, the centre’s development manager.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions’ leadership is appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and its board includes representatives of employees’ and employers’ groups.

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