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Pensions and A1 certificates

The Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) provides information about earnings-related pensions and social security for International House Helsinki customers.

How to use ETK’s remote services?

1) ETK serves customers online and by phone. You may book an appointment or call +358 29 411 2110.

You can get information about the A1 certificate and about whether you are covered under the social security system of the country of origin or that of Finland.

Information is also provided on matters related to earnings-related pensions and pension insurance: taxes and contributions withheld on the wage or salary, how to check your own accrued earnings-related pension and how to claim a pension.

More information about earnings-related pensions in English, Estonian and Russian


The Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) serves customers online and over the phone.

Please contact ETK by phone +358 29 411 2110 or visit ETK’s website to make an appointment


ETK can provide you with information about earnings-related pensions for individuals and entrepreneurs, social security coverage and A1 certificates in international work situations.

The Finnish pension system consists of earnings-related pensions, which are accrued by working in Finland, and national pensions, which are based on residence in Finland.

Earnings-related pension accrues from paid work and self-employment which are insured in the earnings-related pension system.  Employers must insure their employees, and self-employed persons must insure themselves with a pension provider. Both employers and employees pay pension contributions. You do not accumulate a personal pension fund for yourself, but statutory earnings-related pensions are financed mainly through the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system, that is, the earnings-related pension contributions paid in the year in question. More information is available on ETK’s website.

Statutory social insurance contributions in Finland include earnings-related pension contributions, workers’ compensation insurance contributions, unemployment insurance contributions and employer’s and the insured (worker’s) health insurance contributions. In addition to the statutory contributions, employers must often also pay group life insurance contributions for their workers. More information.

No, you can’t. Old-age pension begins to be paid when you reach your retirement age. At the earliest, your old-age pension can be paid out from the beginning of the month following the month in which you reach your retirement age. Check your retirement age and read more about different pensions from Earnings-related pension that you have accrued in Finland will be paid out to you regardless of your nationality or in which country you live.

If you reside outside Finland when you reach your retirement age, you must claim your pension from Finland through the pension authority of your country of residence.


YEL is self-employed person’s statutory pension insurance and important part of entrepreneurs’ social security. You have to take out YEL insurance if you work as a self-employed person in Finland and live either in Finland or in another EU country. Similarly, if you come to work in Finland from a country outside the EU and you meet the criteria, you have to take out YEL insurance.

You can take out YEL insurance with any earnings-related pension insurance company or any industry-wide pension fund that manages pension insurance for the self-employed. The insurance premium is fully tax deductible.

The earliest that you can claim your old-age pension is when you reach your lowest pensionable age.

An A1 certificate is used to confirm which country’s social security laws apply to you while you work abroad and the country in which you and your employer should pay the statutory social security contributions.

You need an A1 certificate if you are posted to work temporarily, i.e. you are sent on an assignment, in a country other than the country of your permanent residence.  You need it also if you work in several countries at the same time. In addition to employees, for example entrepreneurs, public servants, scholarship recipients, flight crew and seafarers may have periods of employment abroad thus may have need for an A1 certificate.

If you work in the same country where you live permanently, you do not need an A1 certificate. If you are unsure, please contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) to sort out where you are to be insured.

You must present your A1 certificate to your employer and, upon request, to the Finnish authorities. A1 certificate means you are covered by the social security of your permanent country of residence, and you or your employer should not pay any social security contributions to Finland.

You, or your employer, should apply for A1 certificate well ahead before you start working Finland/abroad. Please visit Finnish Center for Pensions’ website for more information.

Please make sure you are covered by that country’s social security laws in which you work. Or that you have an A1 certificate which shows which country’s social security laws apply to you while you work abroad, and to which country your employer pay social insurance contributions.

No, you don’t’ need A1 certificate. Work done in Finland, also remote work, is insured in Finland. Work done in Finland is insured in Finland regardless of the worker’s nationality, or the domicile of the employer. Your employer must insure you are in Finland. More information.