Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company

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Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company
TypeMutual company
IndustryInsurance services
Founded1998 [1]
Key people
Risto Murto (CEO), Jaakko Eskola (Chairman of the Board)
Revenue€10,485.6 million (2021)[2]
€5,586.5 million (2021)[2]
€6.8 million (2021)[2]
Total assets€45,962.0 million (2021)[2]
Number of employees
527 (2021)[2]
Ruoholahti from a hot air balloon in 2010. Varma's main office in Salmisaari is in the foreground.

Varma Pension Insurance Company (Finnish: Keskinäinen työeläkevakuutusyhtiö Varma) is a pension insurance company in Finland.[3][4] In addition to managing statutory TyEL insurance for employees and YEL insurance for the self-employed, Varma offers its customers statutory vocational rehabilitation and services relating to predicting and managing work ability risks.[5] Varma is a mutual company and its head office is located in Salmisaari, Helsinki.[6]

In 2021, Varma paid out pensions in the amount of 6.2 billion euros to 346,000 people and made 21,131 new pension decisions. Premiums written amounted to 5.6 billion euros, and at year-end 571,229 people were insured with Varma.[2] In terms of turnover, Varma was the twelfth-biggest company in Finland in 2020.[7]

Varma is one of the largest real estate investors in Finland.[8]


The roots of Varma[edit]

Varma's history dates back to 1919, when the Reinsurance Company Varma was founded [9] In 1947, Eläke-Varma (Pension-Varma) was founded.[10] In 1983, Sampo established a limited company Eläke-Sampo (Pension-Sampo). In 1993, Eläke-Varma became one of the owners of Eläke-Sampo.[10] After many stages, Eläke-Varma and Eläke-Sampo became mutual companies Varma-Sampo and Eläke-Fennia, starting their operations in July 1998.[10]


Varma started its operations in July 1998 when Eläke-Sampo and around two thirds of Eläke-Varma merged,[11] creating Finland's largest earnings-related pension company called Varma-Sampo.[12] Varma-Sampo changed its name to Varma on 31 December 2003. It was the largest earnings-related pension company in Finland.[12] Matti Vuoria was appointed as Varma's President and CEO in 2004 when his predecessor Paavo Pitkänen retired. Before that, Vuoria was the Chairman of the Board of Fortum.[12]


Risto Murto took on the post of Varma's President and CEO at the beginning of 2014 when his predecessor Matti Vuoria retired. Murto was previously Varma's Deputy CEO.[13]

In 2016, Varma's investments yielded a return of 4.7 per cent. Their value amounted to 42.9 billion euros at year-end and the company's solvency amounted to 10.2 billion euros.[14]

During April to June, Varma reduced its share weight by five percentage points by decreasing its holdings in US shares due to President Donald Trump’s inability to co-operate and resulting problems.[15] Varma's return on investments stood at 7.8%.[14] The value of Varma's investments grew to 45.4 billion euros, and solvency capital increased by 1.3 billion euros to 11.5 billion euros.[14] The average annual real investment return of Varma's investments over five years had been 5.8 per cent, and over 10 years 3.0 per cent.[14] The plunge in share prices in late 2018 dropped Varma's return on investments to -2 per cent.[16]

In early 2019, Varma generated its best half-yearly result in investment returns in 20 years: 6.9 per cent or 3 billion euros.[17] Varma's full-year returns amounted to more than 5.2 billion euros, with the return percentage amounting to 12.[18] Over 10 years, Varma's pension assets had generated a total return of 26 billion euros and the pension assets doubled.[19] In December, Varma announced that it had created a new fund with the asset management company LGIM and index investment company Foxberry. The exchange-traded fund invests in the United States and considers sustainability criteria when doing so. Varma invested 500 million euros in the fund listed on the London Stock Exchange.[20]

In 2020, some Finnish private pension funds merged with Varma. In total, more than 900 million euros of the assets of pension funds were transferred to Varma and the company's investment assets increased to a record high of 50.2 billion euros.[21]


The company primarily invests in fixed income, equity, real estate, and hedge funds.[22]

Varma's investment assets amounted to approximately 59 billion euros in 2021.[23] The assets collected are re-invested as pension contributions for current and future pensions.[22]

Real estate[edit]

Varma's real estate investment portfolio includes both direct real estate investments in Finland and domestic and international real estate funds. It primarily invests in office and business premises but also in rental housing.[24] In 2022, Varma owned around 4,200 rental dwellings and 70 apartment blocks.[8]

In 2016, Varma invested in the TaunusTurm office property in central Frankfurt together with another pension insurance company Elo.[25] It was the fourth-largest real estate investor in Finland in 2017.[25] In 2019, the value of Varma's real estate investments portfolio totalled approximately 4 billion euros.[26]

In 2020, Varma is developing a wooden office building in Katajanokka, Helsinki, which will house Stora Enso’s head office, other office premises and a hotel.[27]

In 2022, Varma won the design competition for the Pasila "central tower area" in Helsinki. The property was planned to be ready in 2026 and its main tenant will be Elisa, which will occupy half of the building's floor area.[28]

Social responsibility[edit]

In 2016, Varma published a climate policy for its investments to align its portfolio with the Paris climate agreement.[29], and began to build this "sustainable development equity portfolio" in Summer 2016. The portfolio invests in companies that benefit from climate change mitigation, have clear targets concerning climate change or do not incur major costs from adapting to climate change.[30] At the end of 2016, the value of the portfolio was approximately 300 million euros; it included developed market companies in several sectors, both manufacturing and consumer companies.[30]

In 2017, the carbon footprint of Varma's listed equity investments declined by 27% compared to the 2015 baseline. This result was achieved by increasing the share of low-emissions industries and by avoiding emissions-intensive industries such as energy and mining.[14][30]

In January 2019, Varma announced that it had updated the list of its excluded investments. The tobacco industry and nuclear weapons had been included on the list in 2004. It has also included companies manufacturing anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions, chemical and biological weapons, for a long time. A new addition were companies that rely on coal- or lignite-based operations for more than 30 per cent of their net sales.[31]

In 2020, Varma announced that it will revise its climate objectives to have a carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2035, with the aim of focusing on investments that mitigate the progress of climate change. Its goals include that the heating of its real estate investments be emission-free by 2030 and their electricity by 2025.[29][26] Varma divested its investments in coal and oil. At the end of 2020, Varma did not own shares of coal-producing mining companies, coal-based power generation companies nor oil drilling companies.[32]

In 2021, Varma announced its goal to recycle all demolition waste generated in the renovation and construction of its properties by 2025. In 2021, it was aiming to a recycling rate of 70%.[33]


  • Varma won a competition for Nordic investors in the “best sustainable investment act in 2016” category with its sustainability portfolio.[34]
  • In 2017, Varma was chosen as the best large customer service centre.[35]
  • In 2019, Varma won the climate change category in a competition for Finland's best sustainability reports.[36]


  1. ^ "Varma Keskinäinen työeläkevakuutusyhtiö". Finder. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Varman toimintakertomus ja tilinpäätös 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 11 Mar 2022.
  3. ^ Lundén, Kimmo. "Varman Murto: Tällä menolla eläkepommi jää suutariksi" [Murto of Varma: It things continue this way the pension "bomb" is not going to explode]. Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  4. ^ "Ilmarinen hotkaisee Eteran - kasvaa isommaksi kuin Varma". Kauppalehti. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Työkykyjohtaminen". Varma (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  6. ^ "Front page". Varma. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  7. ^ Talouselämä. "TE500". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  8. ^ a b "Suuret kiinteistösijoittajat siirtävät vuokratalojaan kaukolämmöstä maalämpöön – syynä on halu säästää energiakuluissa ja vähentää päästöjä". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 2022-01-05. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  9. ^ Holtari, Seija. "Näin Varma muuttui valtapelien nappulasta satojen miljardien eurojen sijoituskoneeksi – eläkevakuuttajan historiikki on matka läpi suomalaisen yhteiskunnan hurjan muutoksen". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  10. ^ a b c Hannikainen, Matti (2020). Varma – Pienestä eläkekonttorista suureksi työeläkeyhtiöksi [Varma - From a small pension office to a large employment pension company] (PDF). Otava. ISBN 9789511356066.
  11. ^ "Varma to chronicle company's history". Varma. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  12. ^ a b c "Matti Vuoriasta Varma-Sammon toimitusjohtaja". (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  13. ^ Talouselämä. "Risto Murto nousee Varman toimitusjohtajaksi" [Risto Murto will become Varma's CEO]. Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  14. ^ a b c d e Terhemaa, Ahti. "Varman sijoitukset tuottivat viime vuonna 7,8 prosenttia" [Varma's investments returned 7.8 percent last year]. Arvopaperi (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  15. ^ Terhemaa, Ahti. "Varman Murto Bloombergille: "Näyttää siltä, että USA:ssa ei ole presidenttiä"" [Murto of Varma tells Bloomberg: "Looks like there is no president in the US"]. Arvopaperi (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  16. ^ "Suomen suurimpien eläkeyhtiöiden Varman ja Ilmarisen sijoitustuotot romahtivat tappiolle ensi kertaa seitsemään vuoteen" [Investment income of Finland's largest pension companies Varma and Ilmarinen plummeted for the first time in seven years]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  17. ^ Koponen, Henri. "Varman toimitusjohtaja: Tuottojen ja näkymien välillä on selvä ristiriita – "Ennemmin tai myöhemmin ero kursitaan umpeen"" [Varma's CEO: There is a clear discrepancy between earnings and prospects - “Sooner or later the difference will be closed”]. Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  18. ^ "Työeläkeyhtiöt Varma ja Ilmarinen takoivat kumpikin yli viiden miljardin tuotot". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  19. ^ "Kaksi työeläkeyhtiötä kasvatti eläkevaroja yli 10 miljardilla eurolla viime vuonna – Varma ja Ilmarinen saivat eläkevaroille 12 prosentin tuoton". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  20. ^ Mustonen, Antti. "Varma listaa uuden USA-rahastonsa Lontoon pörssiin – Tupakka, aseet, kivihiili ja lapsityövoima saavat porttikiellon" [Varma to list its new US fund on the London Stock Exchange - Tobacco, guns, coal and child labor will be banned]. Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  21. ^ "Tulosjulkistaja Varma: "Eläkejärjestelmä selvisi ensimmäisestä koronavuodesta säikähdyksellä – sijoitustuotoissa emme täysin onnistuneet"" [Profit announcer Varma: "The pension system survived the first coronavirus year with fright - we did not fully succeed in investment income"]. Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (in Finnish).
  22. ^ a b "Financial information & investments". Varma. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  23. ^ "Varman sijoitusten tuotto nousi yhtiön historian parhaaksi, Ilmarisen sijoitukset tuottivat yli 15 prosenttia". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 2022-02-18. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  24. ^ "Real estate". Varma. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  25. ^ a b "Eläkeyhtiöt sijoittivat satojen miljoonien edestä ulkomaille – kiinteistösijoittamiseen syntyi "uusi musta"" [Hundreds of millions invested abroad by pension companies - "new black" emerged in real estate investing]. Talouselämä. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Miten asumisen ilmastopäästöjä voisi karsia? Iso kiinteistösijoittaja Varma irrottaa kerrostalojaan kaukolämmöstä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 2020-02-07. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  27. ^ "Arkkitehtuuri | Tällainen puurakennus nousee paraatipaikalle Katajanokalle – tilat muun muassa hotellille ja Stora Enson pääkonttorille" [Architecture: This kind of wooden building rises to the parade ground in Katajanokka - facilities for the hotel and Stora Enso's headquarters, among others]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 2020-06-24. Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  28. ^ Mannila, Merja (2022-01-21). "Helsingin Pasilan Keskitornialueen suunnittelukilpailu ratkesi – Ehdotuksen kokonaislaajuus on 43000 kerrosneliötä". Rakennuslehti. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  29. ^ a b Honkanen, Veera. "Varma uudistaa ilmastotavoitteitaan: Eroon öljynporauksesta, hiilivoimaloiden alasajoa vauhditetaan". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  30. ^ a b c "Varma sijoittaa ison potin kestävään kehitykseen" [Varma invests a big pot in sustainable development]. Kauppalehti. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  31. ^ Mustonen, Antti. "Varma päivittää sijoitustensa mustaa listaa – näihin työeläkevakuuttaja ei saa sijoittaa" [Varma updates its investment blacklist - the employment pension insurer is not allowed to invest in these]. Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  32. ^ "Varma luopui sijoituksista kivihiileen ja öljyyn – "Ilmastonmuutoksen hillintä edellyttää sijoittajilta toimintaa"" [Varma abandons investments in coal and oil - “Climate change mitigation requires action by investors”]. Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  33. ^ "Varma sitoutuu kierrättämään 70 prosenttia rakennus- ja purkujätteistään". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  34. ^ Elo, Henri. "Miehisen sijoitusmaailman trendi, jossa naiset jyräävät" [A trend in the male investment world where women are winning]. Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  35. ^ "Yritysten omat asiakkaat: Finanssiala paransi selvästi palveluaan" [Companies' own customers: The financial sector clearly improved its service]. Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  36. ^ Rydman, Arno (2019-11-15). "Stora Enso ja Tokmanni palkittiin raporteista". Verkkouutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 2020-09-22.

External links[edit]