Working abroad

Social security while working abroad varies depending on whether the work is done in

  • an EU Member State or an EEA country,
  • a social security agreement country, or
  • a non-agreement country.

Even if you are a Finnish citizen, have a Finnish employer or pay your taxes to Finland, you are not automatically covered by Finnish social security while working abroad. As a rule, when you work abroad, you are covered by the social security of the country in which you work.  In that case, all obligatory social security contributions are paid to the country in which you work. You are then entitled to all social security benefits under the legislation of that country. If you are posted abroad on a temporary basis as an employee, a self-employed person or a grant recipient (equated with a self-employed person), you may be covered by Finnish social security while working abroad. If you are a telecommuter, you may also be compared to a self-employed person.

For more information, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions. For more information on government officials, seafarers and cabin crew, go to sections “Working in another EU Member State”, “Working in an agreement country” and “Working in a non-agreement country”. If you work in several EU Member States or Switzerland  at the same time, different rules will apply. For more information, see section “Working in several EU/EEA countries or Switzerland”.

Conditions for posting

Click the headings below for more information on the conditions of posting. 

Posted employee

You are a posted employee if

  • you have been posted abroad by a Finnish employer,
  • you were subject to Finnish social security immediately before going abroad, or
  • you work abroad temporarily.

Posted self-employed person

You are considered a posted self-employed person if

  • you, as a rule, engage in self-employment in Finland,
  • you engage in similar type of self-employment abroad as in Finland, or
  • you engaged in self-employment in Finland before going abroad (in practice, you have had a valid insurance under the Self-employed Persons’ Pensions Act for more than four months before going abroad).

Posted grant recipient

If you receive a grant and are temporarily working abroad, you may be covered by Finnish social security if

  • the grant was awarded from Finland,
  • you were subject to Finnish social security legislation immediately before going abroad, or
  • you have taken out insurance under the Farmers’ Pensions Act for the period that you work abroad.

Telecommuting abroad

If you are an employee or a self-employed person and you  are telecommuting from abroad, you are covered by the social security of the country in which you actually telecommute. However, your employer can apply for an A1 certificate for coverage under Finnish social security legislation if your telecommuting abroad has been agreed on. If you are self-employed, you have to apply for the certificate yourself.

Cross-border worker

If you are a cross-border worker, you work or are self-employed in one EU country but live in another country. As a cross-border worker, you and your employer pay your social security contributions only to one country. If you live in Finland, you may qualify for some benefits paid by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). Contact Kela for more information on the social security benefits of cross-border workers.

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Working for an EU or other international organisation

Most international organisations, including the UN and its specialised agencies, have their own pension systems. If you work for such an organisation, contact your employer for information on its own pension system. The EU employs, among others, officials, temporary staff,  locally hired staff, special advisers and researchers. If you work for the EU, ask your employer about your pension and social security rights. If you work for the EC, you may be covered by EU’s own pension system.