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The number of A1 certificates granted for work abroad continued to grow in 2021 but fell short of the pre-pandemic level. The Customer Service of the Finnish Centre for Pensions received many inquiries concerning telecommuting from abroad.

In 2021, the Finnish Centre for Pensions granted 10,100 certificates on coverage by Finnish social security while working abroad. This was an increase of 800 compared to in 2020. 

Certificates of coverage by Finnish social security issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions in 2014–2021, by gender

The certificate may be granted to a person who is temporarily going to work to an EU country or a country with which Finland has signed a social security agreement. The certificate attests that the person continues to be covered by Finnish social security while working in another country, for example, as a posted worker. 

“The pandemic has limited travelling and forced many persons working abroad to return to Finland. In 2020, this showed as a drop in the number of granted certificates, on the one hand, and as an increase in the number of altered postings, on the other. In 2021, the number of granted certificates took an upward trend. However, the pre-pandemic level has not yet been reached”, explains senior adviser Marjaana Lundqvist

Increasing telecommunication trend shows in Customer Services 

One of the recent trends according to Lundqvist is telecommuting from abroad. 

“It has been done before, but the pandemic has increased employees’ and self-employed persons’ interest in telecommuting from abroad. Our Customer Service received many inquiries in 2021 on telecommuting from abroad.”   

The trend does not show directly in the number of issued certificates since short periods of telecommuting in connection with, for example, a holiday trip, does not require a certificate according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, unless required by the country in which the work is done.  

“Lately, Customer Services has received an increasing number of inquiries about telecommuting from Finland. Many Finns who have lived abroad now consider returning to Finland and telecommuting from here for a foreign employer.”   

Working in more than one country increasingly popular 

More than 40 per cent of the granted certificates concerned working in more than one country. The workers may have several different employers in more than one country, or they may work regularly for a single employer in several countries. 

“Year by year, traditional postings to one country have declined; now almost half of the work done abroad is done in more than one country. Sweden has retained its position at the top regarding certificates for work done in one country”, Lundqvist explains. 

Finnish Centre for Pensions – Central body of and expert on statutory earnings-related pensions