Special pension for farmers

The farmers’ early retirement aid is not a benefit of the earnings-related pension scheme although it is determined based on the insured earnings in the earnings-related pension scheme. It is a form of agricultural assistance, a special pension, which is totally financed by public funds. Its purpose is to allow a correctly-timed change of generation before reaching the retirement age.

The farmers’ early retirement aid is based on the provisional Act on Farmers’ Early Retirement Aid. The Act will be in force until the end of 2018.

The farmers’ early retirement aid is the only special pension in agriculture. It is paid to a farmer who gives up agriculture or forestry or a reindeer herder who gives up reindeer husbandry before reaching the retirement age.

The farmers’ early retirement aid is granted to the owner of the farm or their spouse. The surviving spouse of the owner of the farm is entitled to the farmers’ early retirement aid if they have a marital right to the farm. The spouse of the person giving up farming may have a right to the farmers’ early retirement aid alongside their spouse for five years at the most before reaching the retirement age. In that case, the payment of the benefit will begin only once they have reached the required age.

A farmer who gives up farming can get a farmers’ early retirement aid at age 60. The equivalent age limit for a reindeer herder who gives up reindeer husbandry is 57.

The farmers’ early retirement aid is determined like the earnings-related and the national pension

The farmers’ early retirement aid consists of a basic amount and a supplementary component. If the person who gives up farming has children who are under the age of 16, the farmers’ early retirement aid is supplemented by a child increase.

The basic amount of the farmers’ early retirement aid is the same as the disability pension payable to the farmer on their income based on the Farmers’ Pensions Act if they were to become disabled at the time of giving up farming.

The supplementary component amounts to the national pension that the farmer would have been granted at the time of giving up farming if he or she had had the right to a national pension awarded in the form of a disability pension. In 2017, the starting farmers’ early retirement aid amounted to an average of 1,100 euros/month.

In 2017, roughly 200 insured farmers retired on this special pension for farmers. By the end of 2017, a total of 12,000 pensioners got a special farmers’ pension. The number of recipients of a special farmers’ pension is declining due to a decline in the number of farmers. The number of recipients of the special farmers’ pension was at its highest in the early 1990s.

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