Receiving your pension abroad
Earnings-related pension is paid, regardless of the pension recipient’s country of residence and nationality, to either a Finnish or foreign bank account.
Tax is withheld from any pension benefits paid to a recipient in a foreign country. The amount of the tax withheld is affected by, among other things, the individual’s nationality and tax agreements.
Provide your foreign bank account number
In order to pay your pension, we will need your international IBAN account number and the BIC code of the foreign bank in question. If you do not have an IBAN account number, we will need a foreign account number, SWIFT code, routing number/clearing code and the name and address of the bank in question in order to pay your pension.
Any payment information must always be submitted in writing (PDF), and the pension recipient must sign and mail the notification to Elo or return the relevant form in Elo’s Online Service.
Moving abroad or returning to Finland
Earnings-related pension accrued in Finland can be paid to nearly all countries regardless of the nationality of the pension recipient. This concerns both one’s own pension and survivors’ pension. Currently, the payment of pension to Russia, for example, is not possible.
Tax will be withheld from the pension in accordance with the relevant tax agreements.
Notify us of your foreign address and payment information
If you move abroad, notify us of your foreign address and possible change in the payment information for your pension. If you have submitted a notification of a permanent change of address to the Finnish authorities, inform us also of your intended relocation date, since the move may affect the taxation of your pension.
You can submit a notification of a change of address in the Online Service for private customers.
A change in the contact information for payments must always be submitted in the form of a written notification. The pension is transferred to the foreign country via a Finnish bank. In order to pay your pension, we will need the international IBAN account number assigned by the foreign bank and the bank’s BIC code. The pension is transferred abroad primarily in the currency of the receiving country or, if you wish, in euro. If you do not have an IBAN account number, we will need a foreign account number, SWIFT code, routing number/clearing code and the name and address of the bank in question in order to pay your pension.
In addition to notifying us of your intent to move abroad, you must also provide us with your contact information while abroad. It is important that we are able to reach you by mail to ensure that the payment of your pension can continue uninterrupted.
Moving while abroad
If you relocate while abroad, you will need to submit notification of an address change to us. You can submit the notification of an address change in the Online Service for private customers.
It is important that we are able to reach you by mail to ensure that the payment of your pension can continue uninterrupted. Moving from one foreign country to another may also affect the taxation of your pension.
Returning to Finland from abroad
If you permanently move back to Finland, notify us of your new address through the Online Service for private customers. The return to Finland from abroad may affect the taxation of your pension.
Anyone returning to Finland will need to independently apply for a tax card for their pension. If you move back to Finland, you must acquire a tax card from the tax authorities as soon as possible for the payment of your pension. For the purposes of issuing a tax card, the tax authorities will need a report of all of your income for the current year. You can get a certificate showing the amount of pension that has been paid to you during the current year from the Online Service.
Submit your address details once per year
If you live abroad permanently, you must verify your address details for us once each year. We will send the residence notification form to those living abroad annually during December and January. Sign and return the residence notification to us, even if your address hasn’t changed during the past year.
The easiest way to return the residence notification form is to send it as an attachment under the Documents tab in the Online Service for private customers. If we do not receive your notification by the specified deadline, the pension payments will be suspended until we have received the notification.
Taxation of pension recipients living abroad
The taxation of earnings-related pension is affected by, for example, whether the relocation is permanent or temporary. Furthermore, taxation is affected by one’s nationality and the possible tax agreements of the target country.
When a Finnish citizen is moving abroad, an advance tax can be levied on his/her pension for the year of relocation and subsequent three years. During that period, you will, therefore, be taxed as if you were living in Finland. After this period, you are considered a Finnish tax nonresident with a limited tax liability. In this case, Elo will ask the Finnish tax authorities to provide a limited liability tax card for the payment of the pension.
On behalf of the pension recipient living abroad, Elo will apply for the withholding tax information for the pension payment at the commencement of the pension.
Further information about the taxation of pension while abroad can be requested from the Finnish Tax Administration, tel. +358 (0)29 497 024 or found on their website.
In accordance with Finnish legislation, Finnish pensions are taxable in Finland, even if the recipients live abroad. Thus, the pensions of those living abroad are taxed in the same manner as the pensions of those living in Finland. The tax rate is determined based on the individual’s income amount. Finland has a tax agreement with more than 60 other countries. Usually, the tax agreements specify that any pensions paid from Finland are taxed in Finland.