Old-age pension in Finland

Suomen vanhuuseläke
Here you can read about old-age pensions in Finland. The rules also apply to Åland.

Old-age pension paid in Finland consists primarily of earnings-related pension, which all persons in paid employment accrue during their working career. If your earnings-related pension is small or you are not getting any at all, your old-age pension is national pension and possibly guarantee pension, which are residence-based pensions.

On this page you can find information on old-age pension paid in Finland. You can find more information on other pensions paid in Finland on the page on the Finnish pension system. 

Are you entitled to old-age pension from Finland?

Entitlement to earnings-related pension comes from paid employment as a wage earner or self-employed person based on mandatory pension insurance. Researchers and artists working on grants also accrue earnings-related pension. Pension is accrued annually from employment income at a certain percentage. If you have accrued earnings-related pension in Finland, the pension is paid to you regardless of your country of residence.

Entitlement to national pension is based on residence in Finland. To get national pension, you must have lived in Finland for at least three years after reaching the age of 16 years. Any periods of insurance completed under the social security system of another EU/EEA country or of Switzerland before moving to Finland also count towards the waiting period. Persons living in other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland and who have previously been covered by the Finnish social security system can also get national pension from Finland.

The applicant’s other pensions and benefits may not exceed a certain limit. The amount of the national pension is calculated relative to the period of time that the applicant has lived in Finland. Unless the applicant has lived in Finland for at least 80 per cent of the period between the ages of 16-65, the national pension is decreased according to the time that the applicant has lived abroad. The amount of the national pension is affected not only by other pensions but also by family circumstances.

The guarantee pension paid by Kela guarantees a minimum pension for persons living in Finland. You may be entitled to guarantee pension if all your other pensions in total are below a certain income limit.

When can you get old-age pension from Finland?

Pensionable ages for earnings-related pension

There are upper and lower age limits for different age groups. You can retire on earnings-related pension at the lowest pensionable age for your age group aged between 63-65. If you continue working after the lowest pensionable age, you can accrue further pension up to the upper age limit of the insurance obligation, i.e. until the age of 68-70. If you do not take your pension at the lowest pensionable age, you will get an increase for late retirement. Old-age pension can begin when your employment relationship has ended. You can, however, continue working in another employment relationship or as a self-employed person.

Under the pensions reform of 2017, pensionable age limits will increase gradually.

Pensionable age for the national pension 

The pensionable age for the national pension is 65 years for persons born in 1965 or earlier. For persons born after 1965, old-age pension from the national pension scheme is tied to a personal pensionable age based on the earnings-related pension acts.

You can also get national pension early, but then a reduction for early retirement is made. Read more about early old-age pension as national pension at the bottom of this page.

How do you apply for old-age pension from Finland?

If you live in Finland

If you live in Finland, you can apply for both earnings-related and national pension using the same old-age pension application. You can make an online application on the Työeläke.fi online service, your own pension provider’s online service or Kela’s e-Services. You can get application forms from Kela, pension providers and the Finnish Centre for Pensions. You can apply for pension earned abroad on the same form, but form U must be appended to the application to notify details of employment and residence in other countries. If you have worked abroad, it is advisable to make your application 6 months before you want your pension to start.

If you live in another Nordic country

If you live in another Nordic country, you can apply for a Finnish pension when you apply for a pension in your country of residence. If you have not yet reached retirement age in your country of residence, but you want to apply for a pension from another Nordic country, you can still apply for a Finnish pension from the pension provider in your country of residence.

Can you take Finnish old-age pension with you to another Nordic country?

Earnings-related pension and national pension are also paid to you if you live in another Nordic country. Housing allowance for pensioners is not paid abroad. Guarantee pension is only paid to persons living in Finland. Guarantee pensioners can, however, reside abroad temporarily without losing their entitlement to the guarantee pension.

How is old-age pension paid in the event of death?

When an old-age pensioner dies, their old-age pension ends at the end of the calendar month when the pensioner dies. Spouses and underage children can get survivors’ pension, which must be claimed separately.

How can you find out how much pension you have earned in Finland?

The pension record contains details of the earnings-related pension you have earned in Finland. If you have Finnish online banking codes, you can check your pension record on the Työeläke.fi online service.

If you live in Finland, you can also order a pension record from your own pension provider or the Finnish Centre for Pensions by calling 029 411 2110. The record will be sent to the address you have in the population register.

If you live abroad and your address abroad is in the Finnish population register, you can also order a pension record by telephone on +358 29 411 2110. Otherwise you can order one in writing from The Finnish Centre for Pensions, FI-00065 Eläketurvakeskus, Finland or by fax on +358 29 411 2595. In your letter, give your personal details, your Finnish personal identity code and your address and sign your request.

How are you taxed if you live abroad and you get pension from Finland?

You can get information on taxation of pensions on the Nordic tax portal website.

Working while drawing a pension

If you are an employee, your employment relationship must end before your old-age pension can start. If you are self-employed, you do not need to end your self-employed activity in order to get old-age pension. As an old-age pensioner you can continue to work in a new employment relationship or as a self-employed person. You can accrue new earnings-related pension up to the upper limit of the insurance obligation.

Partial old-age pension

Partial old-age pension leaves you free to work while drawing a pension: there is no limit on the work you do, but it is not a requirement either. Partial old-age pension can be paid out early, at your own lowest pensionable age or later. The earliest age for drawing a partial old-age pension is 61 years. You can be paid 25% or 50% of the pension that you have accrued up to that time. The part of your pension that you take early will be permanently reduced by the so-called reduction for early retirement. If you take partial pension at the lowest pensionable age for old-age pension, no reduction is made to the pension.

Early old-age pension from the national pension scheme

If you retire on an earnings-related pension before reaching the age of 65 years and your earnings-related pension is small, you can receive an early old-age pension from the national pension scheme. You can decide yourself whether to apply for the pension immediately when you retire on an earnings-related pension or when you reach the actual retirement age. If you apply for the national pension when you reach the actual retirement age, no early retirement reduction will be made to the pension.

Early old-age pensions can be awarded to:

  • persons born before 1958 who have reached the age of 63 years 
  • persons born in 1958-1961 who have reached the age of 64 years.

The amount of an early old-age pension is permanently lower than that of an old-age pension starting at age 65. Pension payments are reduced by 0.4% for each month they are brought forward. You can find out in advance how much you would get in early old-age pension. Ask your pension provider for an assessment of the amount of your earnings-related pension. Based on this Kela can check if you would be granted a national pension. If you have lived abroad, however, this assessment cannot be made.

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