Finland and Estonia: Social Security Contributions Often Paid to Wrong Country

It is estimated that the social insurance contributions for thousands of persons working in both Finland and Estonia are incorrectly paid to two countries. According to EU regulations, an individual can be insured in only one country at a time. It is the duty of the employer to pay the insurance contributions to the correct amount and to the right country.

Last year, approximately 60,000 Estonians worked in Finland. They were insured either in Finland or Estonia. The amount is rising, which is evident in the customer volumes of the authorities of these two countries.

According to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, approximately 57,000 Estonians have accrued a pension in Finland. The amount has doubled in the last five years.

The increasingly mobile workforce has resulted in many unintentionally incorrect insurance cases – the social insurance contributions are paid incorrectly to both Finland and Estonia at the same time.

According to EU insurance regulations, pension can accrue only to one country at a time and social security benefits, such as sickness benefits, can be received from only one country.

“The employers of both countries should pay the social security contributions to one and the same country to ensure that the benefits accrue correctly. It is the employer’s duty to make sure that the employees’ contributions are in order”, explains Marjaana Lundqvist, Special Advisor at the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

There is no exact data on the number of persons with double insurance. According to an estimate made by the Finnish Centre for Pensions, the problem concerns thousands of Estonians working in both Finland and Estonia.

In a typical case of double insurance, an Estonian employee works part of the month in Estonia and is insured in Estonia. At the same time, he or she works part of the time in Finland for a Finnish employer and has Finnish earnings-related pension insurance.

“To correct these mistakes retrospectively is difficult, in some cases even impossible. If the contri-butions are not paid correctly, it is possible that the employee loses benefits”, Lundqvist points out.

Topelt ei maksa maksta campaign

In order to avoid insurance problems, the Finnish Centre for Pensions has launched an extensive communications campaign in Estonia in cooperation with its liaison body Sotsiaalkindlustusamet.

The campaign Topelt ei maksa maksta is visible on neon signs in ferry terminals, on the Internet and on the radio.
Further information

– Marjaana Lundqvist, Special Adviser, Finnish Centre for Pensions, +358 50 364 9039

marjaana.lundqvist@etk.fi

– Antti Karkiainen, Information Officer, Finnish Centre for Pensions, +358 50 911 3269

antti.karkiainen@etk.fi

Links

Social Insurance between Finland and Estonia (pdf)

Further information for employers – insuring foreign employees

Further information for Estonian employees

Topelt ei maksa maksta campaign site