The Finnish 2005 Pension Reform

Right to Rehabilitation Within the Earnings-related Pension Scheme

Vocational rehabilitation became a statutory earnings-related pension benefit at the beginning of 2004. The rehabilitee receives a rehabilitation allowance which is always higher than the mere disability pension.

A rehabilitee on a disability pension receives a rehabilitation increment on top of the pension. The rehabilitee may also receive a discretionary rehabilitation assistance.

Rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension scheme is intended for those in working life. Therefore the prerequisite for rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension scheme is that the rehabilitee has fulfilled a certain earnings requirement during the five previous calendar years. This type of rehabilitation is financed by the earnings-related pension institutions. Kela, on the other hand, arranges vocational rehabilitation for those outside working life or those who have only recently entered working life.

The unconditional criterion for rehabilitation is the threat of disability which can be postponed or prevented with appropriate rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is used to support an individual’s continued working. The possibilities for rehabilitation are always investigated before issuing a disability pension decision.

The initiative to rehabilitation may come from the individual, the supervisor, occupational health care or personnel management. Rehabilitation within the earnings-related pension schemes begins as such with a rehabilitation application.

The rehabilitation is always individual and vocational. It is planned according to the needs of the applicant. The starting point for rehabilitation is cooperation with the workplace. First, the possibility for new work arrangements are investigated.

Vocational rehabilitation may include counselling, work trials, work training, retraining or financial assistance to become self-employed.

The same rules apply for the self-employed and farmers.