Social security is governed by regulations and bilateral agreements

The social security regulations of the EU consolidate the social security systems of the different Member States. The social security agreements are bilateral agreements between two countries. The aim of the EU regulations on social security and the social security agreements is to make sure that a person is covered by the laws of only one country at a time.

The social security agreements and EU’s regulation on social security determine which country’s laws are to be applied to a person who moves between two or several countries and what social security rights such a person has.

One of the aims of the regulations and the agreements is to ensure that the social security continues uninterruptedly for a person who moves from one country to another. Another aim is to prevent situations in which an employee would be insured for social security in two countries and pay double social security contributions. A third aim is to remove any obstacles for receiving social security benefits.

The level of social security and the benefits are always determined by national laws.

One of the central principles of the social security agreements and the EU social security regulations is that people be treated equally.  That is why the citizens of the country with which a social security agreement has been signed are guaranteed the same rights and obligations as the country’s own citizens.

Main rule of insurance

The main rule in both the EU social security regulations and the social security agreements is that a person working abroad is covered by the social security laws of the country in which they work. The social security contributions are paid to that country and the right to social security benefits (such as pensions) is determined based on the laws of the country in which the person works.

Persons moving abroad to work do not have to inform the Finnish Centre for Pensions of the move, but they have to inform the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

A person working abroad temporarily may be subject to Finnish social security laws under certain conditions. The Finnish Centre for Pensions can grant an A1 certificate to attest that Finnish social security laws are applied to a person working in en EU/EEA country, Switzerland or a country with which Finland  has a social security agreement.

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