Hiltunen was born in Jyväskylä. He worked as railwayman and was later a shopkeeper. He worked at a social democratic paper in Varkaus 1931–1946. Hiltunen was elected to the parliament for terms between 1930 and 1962 first from Northern and later from Southern Savonia electoral district.
Hiltunen was chairman of the Social Democratic Party between 1944 and 1946. He hold several ministerial posts, including Minister of Finance 1944, 1948–1950, 1951, Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister 1958–1959, Minister in the Finance Ministry 1945–1946, 1946–1948.
He was chairman of KELA 1951–1961.
- "Edustajamatrikkeli". Eduskunta.
- "Council of State - Ministers of Finance". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "Finnish Government - Ministers of Trade and Industry". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
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