Old-age pension in Finland

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Here you will find information on old-age pension in Finland. The rules also apply to Åland.

Old-age pension 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.

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

Are you entitled to old-age pension from Finland?

For the majority of pensioners, their earnings-related pension is their most important source of income. Pensions can consist of several parts, however. In addition to earnings-related pension, pensions can be made up of national pension, guarantee pension and pensions from other countries.

Entitlement to earnings-related pension

Entitlement to earnings-related pension comes from paid employment as a wage earner or self-employed person based on mandatory pension insurance. Grant-funded researchers and artists also accrue earnings-related pension. Pension is accrued from employment income according to a certain annual percentage. If you have accrued earnings-related pension in Finland, the pension is paid to you regardless of which country you live in.

Entitlement to national pension

Entitlement to national pension is based on residence in Finland. The condition for getting national pension is that you have lived in Finland for at least three years after reaching the age of 16. However, the waiting period can also accrue if you are covered by the social security system of another EU or EEA country or Switzerland before moving to Finland. Persons who live in other EU or EEA countries or Switzerland and who have previously been covered by the Finnish social security system may also receive a 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 periods that the applicant has lived abroad. The amount of the national pension is affected not only by other pensions but also by family circumstances.

Entitlement to guarantee pension

Guarantee pension from Kela provides residents of Finland with a minimum pension. You may be entitled to guarantee pension if the total of all your other pensions is below a certain earnings limit.

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

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

You can also order your pension record from the Finnish Centre for Pensions by phone or in writing. Read more on the website Työeläke.fi.

When can you get old-age pension from Finland?

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. 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 check your pensionable age on the Työeläke.fi website.

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 required either. Partial old-age pension can be paid out early, at your own lowest pensionable age or later. The earliest you can retire on a partial old-age pension is at the age of 61 years. You can draw 25% or 50% of the pension that you have accrued up to that time. Read more on the website Työeläke.fi.

National pension can also be paid out early, in which case a reduction for early retirement is made. Read more about early old-age pension from the national pension scheme on Kela’s website.

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. Read more on the website Työeläke.fi.

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.

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

There are different ways of claiming pension depending on whether you live in Finland or another Nordic country.

If you live in Finland

If you live in Finland, you can apply for both earnings-related and national pension on 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 the OmaKela e-service. Printable paper forms are also available on the website Työeläke.fi.

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 in another country, it is advisable to make your application 6 to 9 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, in this case too you can apply for a Finnish pension from the pension provider in your country of residence. Read more on the page on pension 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 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 temporarily abroad without losing their entitlement to the guarantee pension.

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. Read more on the website Työeläke.fi.

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 Nordisk eTax.

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

When an old-age pensioner dies, the old-age pension ends at the end of the calendar month when the pensioner dies. Old-age pension is not paid to family members of the deceased, therefore. A surviving spouse and under-age children can get survivor’s pension, which must be applied for separately.

If the pensioner was not a Finnish citizen or did not live in Finland permanently, the death is usually not notified to the Finnish authorities. In this case the death must be notified to the pension payer as soon as possible by phone or in writing.

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