Insurance for foreign employees

Work done in Finland is to be insured in Finland, apart from in the exemptions listed below.

As a Finnish employer, you have to

  • take out insurance under the Employees Pensions Act for your foreign workers who work in Finland (in the same way as you do for your Finnish workers).

As a foreign employer, you have to

  • take out pension insurance under the Employees Pensions Act for your workers working in Finland, and
  • take out pension insurance for your workers who telecommute in Finland.

If you are a foreigner and you have earned a pension from Finland, you will be paid your Finnish earnings-related pension regardless of in which country you live when you retire. That is why the insurance contributions are not refunded to you when you leave Finland. Instead, you will get a pension from Finland when you retire.

Exemptions from the obligation to insure

Foreign worker posted to work for Finnish employer

Your worker posted from abroad to Finland is not to be insured in Finland if

  • they are subject to the laws of another country based on the EU Regulations on social security and they have an A1 certificate, or
  • they are subject to the laws of another country based on a social security agreement and they have a certificate that states which laws apply.

Foreign posting employer

As a foreign employer you are not to take out pension insurance for the workers you post to Finland if

  • your worker is subject to the laws of another country based on the EU Regulations on social security and they have an A1 certificate,
  • your worker is subject to the laws of another country based on a social security agreement and they have a certificate of coverage,
  • your worker is posted to Finland from a non-agreement country for a maximum of two years, or
  • you have been granted an exemption to take out insurance in Finland.

Posted worker from an EU country or an agreement country

If you post a worker from one of the following countries, the worker may be covered by the social security laws of that country:

Canada Chile China
EEA countries EU countries India
Israel Quebeck South Korea
Switzerland U.S.A.

In that case, you are to pay the insurance contributions to that country only.

Your posted worker is always in an employment relationship to you and cannot work for a Finnish employer.

Your worker must apply for a certificate to attest which country’s social security laws  apply to their work (Certificate A1 in the EU).

Working in several EU/EEA countries

There are special regulations on social security for people who work in several countries. They also have an A1 certificate. Because of the A1 certificate they are commonly referred to as posted employees although the insurance rules for people working in several countries differ from those for posted employees.

Workers posted to Finland from a non-agreement country

If you are a foreign employer and post a worker to Finland for a short period of time (less than 2 years), your worker is not to be insured in Finland under the Employees Pensions Act if

  • they are not covered by Finnish social security laws when the posting begins, and
  • they are not covered by Finnish laws based on the EU Regulations on social security or a social security agreement.

If you post a worker to Finland from a non-agreement country for less than two years, your worker is not to be insured in Finland.

If the posting lasts for more than two years, the Finnish Centre for Pensions can exempt (based on an application) you from the obligation to take out insurance in Finland. As a posting employer, you  cannot be exempted from the obligation to insure if your posted worker is subject to the EU Regulations on social security or the rules of a social security agreement.

You can be granted an exemption to take out insurance for your posted worker for a maximum of five years, counting from the date on which your posted worker first began working in Finland. You can be granted the exemption only if you have arranged other pension insurance for your posted worker.

To apply for an exemption from the insurance obligation, fill out one of the following forms:

  • ETK 2076 (if the employment began before 31 Dec. 2008)
  • ETK 2072 (if the employment began after 1 Jan. 2009)

Other things to take into account

Authorities requiring the A1 certificate

The Contractor’s Liability Act, for example, requires that the social security of workers posted to Finland has to be sorted out. The authority that enforces the Act (The Regional State Administrative Agencies, AVI) instructs that the obligation to sort out social security can be met by presenting an A1 certificate. The industrial safety authority can give you more information on what type of certificate is enough to meet the requirements.

Many construction sites require that a foreign worker presents an A1 certificate before giving the worker access to the construction site. This demand may be based on the requirements of the Contractor’s Liability Act or the praxis of construction site operators.

If you have further questions, please contact the party that requires the certificate.

Finnish ID number for foreign workers

If you are a foreign employer operating in Finland, you have to make sure that your worker posted to Finland applies for a Finnish ID number as soon as possible after arriving in Finland.

Having the ID number makes it much easier to arrange things in Finland. Even if your worker would not need the ID number to handle things themselves, it makes a difference for their social security.