Changes in social security benefits of workers coming to Finland or going abroad

As of April, the conditions for getting Kela benefits will change for persons coming to work in Finland or going abroad from Finland to work in another country. The change in law also affects posted employees and self-employed persons who go abroad to work in a third country.

As of April, the conditions for getting Kela benefits will change for persons coming to work in Finland or going abroad from Finland to work in another country. The change in law also affects posted employees and self-employed persons who go abroad to work in a third country.

The changes that take effect on 1 April do not affect employees or self-employed persons who have been posted abroad to work in an EU/EEA or social security agreement country. As before, they can apply for an A1 certificate and be covered by Finnish social security while working abroad.

New act affects cross-border working

As of 1 April, workers who come to work in Finland, regardless of for how long or for how many hours per week they will work here, are entitled to get Kela benefits. The only requirement is that they earn at least 696.60 euros per month (in 2019). Kela gets the data on how much they earn from the Incomes Register (the employer notifies the wages to the register each month).

If a person moves to Finland for other reasons than work, the right to benefits is based on for how long they have lived in Finland. Residence-based benefits are, for example, health insurance benefits and the child benefit.

Persons who go abroad to work in third countries (that is, countries other than EU/EEA countries and social security agreement countries) retain their right to Finnish social security benefits for five years at the most. The five-year-limit applies also to researchers and development workers. Before the new amendment to the law, such persons were able to retain their right to Kela benefits for as long as 10 years.

A self-employed person who lives in Finland and is posted abroad to work in a third country can get Kela benefits for a maximum of 12 months, providing they are insured under the Self-employed Persons’ Pensions Act during the entire period of working abroad.

In the future, other than posted employees or self-employed persons who go abroad to live in third countries can retain their right to Kela benefits for six months (previously 12 months).

Staying abroad affects Kela benefits

A person who gets a Kela benefit and goes abroad has to notify Kela beforehand how long they will stay abroad and for what purpose. Based on the notification, Kela will establish how moving abroad effects their benefits in payment. In the future, Kela does not automatically issue a separate decision on residence-based social security coverage.

The right to benefits for persons who live or work in Finland or who live abroad is established already as part of the decision they get on the benefit in payment or a new benefit. The data on living abroad or in Finland can be checked through Kela’s customer services. When necessary, Kela uses the data to establish a person’s right to social security.

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Image: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health