Kathrin Komp-Leukkunen & Visa Rantanen
A Case of Intergenerational Conflict: The 2015 Finnish Citizens’ Initiative on Pension Indexation
Pension reforms become more common in times of population aging. In 2015, a Finnish citizens’ initiative recommended increasing pension benefits. Opponents argued this may be at the cost of youths and middle-agers. We investigate the initiative from the viewpoint of intergenerational conflict. A mixed methods analysis reveals no conflict during the signature collection. It only became visible during the newspaper debate, when experts explained the reform effects. The parliament rejected the reform. Findings reveal a unique conflict dynamic in citizens’ initiatives: a reflected judgment gradually emerges during the public debate. Policymakers may use this insight to advance pension-related direct democracy.