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Receiving pension from abroad

You can apply for a foreign pension alongside your Finnish earnings-related pension, using the same application form from:

  • an EU or EEA country,
  • Great Britain,
  • Switzerland, and
  • countries with which Finland has a social security agreement: Australia, Canada (Québec), Chile, India, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United States.

You will need to submit an Appendix U form with your application. If you have any documents concerning your time abroad, such as employment certificates, you can submit copies of them along with your application.

If you want to apply for pension from a country other than those listed above, you will need to apply directly from the pension provider in the country in question.

Pension application process

The easiest method is to complete an application and Appendix U using Elo’s Online Service. Your application should clearly state the countries from which you are applying for a pension and the date on which you are applying for that pension to begin. 

We will forward your application for a foreign pension to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, which will ensure that the application is submitted to the proper authority abroad. The relevant foreign pension provider will send the decision regarding your foreign pension directly to your home. If you are applying for pension from several different countries, each country in question will send you a separate decision.
The application processing times in other countries may be quite long, but they do not affect the processing of your Finnish pension matters. If you would like to enquire about the processing status of your application for a foreign pension, you will need to directly contact the foreign pension provider that is handling the application. Contact information for foreign pension providers is available from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Accrual of pension for work abroad

When working abroad, one generally falls within the social security sphere of the country of employment and the social insurance contributions are paid to that country. Benefits and pensions are also determined in accordance with the legislation valid in the country of employment. This rule is generally observed regardless of the home country or nationality of the employer, employee or self-employed person. Thus, the pension usually accrues to the pension system of the country in which the work is carried out in accordance with the regulations of the country in question, and it is not possible to transfer the pension accrual from one country to another (except for those employed by an EU authority).

If an employee is posted temporarily to an EU or EEA country, Great Britain, Switzerland or other country with which Finland has a social security agreement, that employee still falls within the sphere of Finland’s social security scheme and will continue to accrue pension in Finland. In this case, the employee must have an A1 certificate for posted workers, which shall be applied for from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. If the country to which the employee is posted is a non-agreement country, the pension will accrue in Finland, but it may be necessary to pay pension insurance contributions also to the country in which the work is carried out. 

More information about pension accrual and work done abroad is available from the website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

If you would like to enquire about the amount of your foreign pension prior to submitting your pension application, you will need to address that enquiry to the foreign pension provider from which you are applying for a pension. If necessary, the Finnish Centre for Pensions can help you to find the contact information of the foreign pension provider in question. 

Impact of a foreign pension on the Finnish earnings-related pension and other benefits

A pension from a foreign country will not hinder your application for an earnings-related pension from Finland, but it may affect the amount of the Finnish pension. Contact Elo’s Pension Services to find out more about the impact of a foreign pension. 

A foreign pension can also affect other benefits paid in Finland, such as unemployment benefits. The amount of a foreign pension is also taken into account in the calculation of the national pension paid by Kela. For more information on the impacts of a foreign pension on other benefits, please contact the party paying the benefit in question.  

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