Finland has bilateral social security agreements with Australia, Canada, Chile, China, India, Israel, Quebec, South Korea and the United States.

The bilateral social security agreements do not provide all the same benefits as does EU’s social security regulation. All of them cover pensions but, for example, the agreements with the United States and Canada do not include statutory accident insurance and the majority of the benefits paid by the Social Security Institution of Finland (Kela). The agreement with China concerns mainly the insuring of employees or self-employed workers.

Working in a social security agreement country

Click the headings below for more information on employees, self-employed persons, grant recipients and civil servants posted to an agreement country.

If your Finnish employer posts you to work temporarily to a social security agreement country, you can continue to be covered by Finnish social security under certain conditions.

Your employer can apply for the certificate for a posted employee via our eServices. For more information, go to Apply for A1 Certificate or click the links below.

As a rule, when you work as a self-employed person abroad, you are covered by the social security of the country in which you work. In that case, you pay all your social security contributions to that country, if the country’s laws so requires. In addition, you have the right to all statutory social security benefits of that country.

The bilateral social security agreements differ from each other as far as self-employed workers are concerned. However, most new social security agreements include regulations on self-employment, as well. If you are a posted self-employed worker, you can be covered by Finnish social security laws for the length of time stated in the agreement.

A separate agreement has been made with the United States of America. According to that agreement, if you live in Finland and work temporarily as a self-employed person in the United States for one year at the most, you can keep your insurance under the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act valid in Finland during that year. This requires that you have had valid insurance under the Act for at least four months before going to work in the United States. You have to apply for the FI/USA A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions before you begin your self-employment in the United States. The certificate proves that you are covered by Finnish social security laws.

If you continue working in the United States for more than one  year, you can no longer be covered by Finnish social security and your insurance under the Self-employed Persons’ Pensions Act cannot be continued.

In international situations, the same rules apply for grant recipients as for self-employed persons. There are few rules in the mutual social security regulations on self-employed persons.

Finland has made a separate agreement with the United States. According to the agreement, if you are a grant recipient going to work in the United States for no more than one year, you can be covered by Finnish social security while working in the United States if:

  • you have been covered by Finnish social security laws immediately before going abroad, and
  • you have taken out insurance under the Farmers’ Pensions Act for your period of work abroad.

You have to apply to the Finnish Centre for Pensions for a certificate to prove that you are covered by Finnish social security laws while working in the United States.

If you will work in the United States for more than one year, you can apply for an exemption and continue to be covered by Finnish social security laws for a longer period of time. Send in your application for an exemption to us. We will forward it to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which will issue the decision.

Finland has agreed on exemptions also with other agreement countries. That way , you can continue to be covered by Finnish social security laws while working as a grant recipient abroad.

More on other sites:

If you work as a civil servant in one of the agreement countries, contact us for more information on your earnings-related pension insurance while working abroad.

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