A1 certificate – What is it and how is it used?
The A1 certificate shows
- which country’s social security laws apply to you while you work abroad, and
- to which country your employer/you should pay social insurance contributions.
The A1 certificate is valid only in EU/EEA countries and Switzerland. It is a standard form that is available in the official language(s) of the country which grants it.
When the Finnish Centre for Pensions grants you an A1 certificate, it means that, during the period that the certificate is valid,
- you are covered by Finnish social security, and
- your social insurance contributions are to paid to Finland only.
Based on the A1 certificate that the Finnish Centre for Pensions has granted to you, the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) will
- notify you of which Kela benefits you are entitled to based on the certificate, and
- send you a European Health Insurance Card.
You must present the A1 certificate you have been granted to your employer (preferably already before you start to work abroad) and, upon request, to foreign authorities.
How do I read the A1 certificate?
The A1 certificate is a standard form that each country grants in its official language(s). In Finland, the certificate is either in Finnish or Swedish. Since the certificate is structurally the same in all countries, it is understood in all countries, regardless of in which language it is written.
1. Personal data of the bearer of the A1 certificate
Section 1 of the certificate includes your personal data such as your person ID number, full name, you address in the country in which you live and in the country in which you stay.
2. Applicable Member State laws
Section 2 states the country whose laws on social security is applied to your work, that is, the country that has granted the certificate, as well as the period for which the certificate is valid.
3. Your employment status and position
Section 3 states your position and role at work.
4. Information on your employer / self-employment
Section 4 includes information on your employers or, if you are self-employed, of your company. If you work in only one country, this section usually contains information on your posting employer or your company.
5. Data on your employer/ self-employment in the country in which you work
Section 5 includes information on your employers, your company and your places of work in the country or countries in which you work. If you work in several countries, sections 4 and 5 may include information on several employers in several countries.
6. Institution that fills in the form
Section 6 includes information on and the stamp of the institution that has granted the certificate.
Certificate to and from social security agreement countries
If your certificate stating which country’s laws are to be applied to your work has been issued by the authorities of a social security agreement country (Australia, Canada, Chile, China, India, Israel, Quebeck, South Korea and the United States), you and your employer are, as a rule, exempted from paying social security insurance contributions to Finland. The bilateral social security agreements state which contributions you don’t have to pay.
If you work in a social security agreement country and you have been issued an A1 certificate from Finland, you are exempted from paying most of the contributions of the country in which you work. The mutual social security agreements state which contributions you and your employer do not have to pay.
For more information on how the A1 certificate or a certificate for an agreement country are valid.