Ilmarinen's history - 60 years of pension cover and partnership

Ilmarinen is Finland’s oldest pension company. We have taken care of our customers’ pensions since 1961. We offer statutory employees’ and self-employed persons’ pension insurance for employers and entrepreneurs operating in Finland. We ensure that our customers receive the pension they earned from employment. We are part of Finland’s social security system, and we are responsible for the pension cover of more than a million people. The most attractive working life partner – responsibly, for you.

  1. 14 December 1961

    Ilmarinen was established on 14 December 1961, in the same year as the Finnish earnings-related pension system. The founders were the then largest Finnish insurance companies and six smaller insurers.

    Although the origins of Ilmarinen’s name can be traced back to the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland, the actual inspiration was an old accident insurance company situated in Vyborg. Operations were started up in a flat located at Yrjönkatu 17 in Helsinki.

  2. 1962

    In 1962, Teivo Pentikäinen became the company’s first President and CEO. He was a mathematician who has been referred to as the father of the Finnish earnings-related pension system. In the same year, the first pension was paid. The Employees’ Pensions Act (TEL) came into force on 1 July 1962.

  3. 1967

    In 1967, Ilmarinen moved into new premises on Eerikinkatu, in the heart of Helsinki.

  4. 1970

    The Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) came into force. Ilmarinen manages the pension cover of both employees and entrepreneurs.

  5. 1977

    Ilmarinen did not receive its second President and CEO until 1977, when legal scholar Juhani Salminen took on the position.

  6. 1984

    In 1984, Sampo sold its holdings in Ilmarinen. At the same time, Ilmarinen became a subsidiary of the insurance company Pohjola.

  7. 1991

    In 1991, Kari Puro, D. Med. Sc. and political scientist, started as Ilmarinen’s third President and CEO.

  8. 1998

    Ilmarinen became a mutual company in 1998. This marked the transfer of Ilmarinen’s ownership to its customers. Ilmarinen’s name also changed to its current form Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

  9. 2002

    Ilmarinen moved into its current office building Lepakko in Ruoholahti, at Porkkalankatu 1, in 2002.

  10. 2005

    In 2005, Ilmarinen sold its shares in Pohjola to OKO Bank. The result was a strong coalition in the Finnish financing sector consisting of Ilmarinen, Pohjola and the OP Financial Group.

  11. 2007

    Economist Harri Sailas became the fourth President and CEO in Ilmarinen’s history in 2007. At the start of the year, those insured under TEL, LEL and TaEL became covered by a single act – the Employees Pensions Act (TyEL).

  12. 2015

    In 2015, Timo Ritakallio, LL.M., MBA, became Ilmarinen’s fifth President and CEO.

  13. 2017

    The pension reform brought an amendment linking the pensionable age to life expectancy.

  14. 2018

    In 2018, Ilmarinen became Finland’s largest private sector earnings-related pension insurer when earnings-related pension company Etera merged into Ilmarinen. In the same year, Jouko Pölönen, MA (Econ.), eMBA, starts as Ilmarinen’s President and CEO.

  15. 2020

    Ilmarinen’s Board of Directors updated the company’s climate policy and approved the objective of a carbon neutral investment portfolio by 2035. Ilmarinen was ranked as Finland’s most responsible pension company for the third consecutive time.

  16. 2021

    Ilmarinen is Finland’s largest and most solvent earnings-related pension insurance company. Ilmarinen celebrated its 60th anniversary by continuing its work as a provider of pension security for Finns and a working life partner.