The social security of persons moving between EU Member States is regulated by the EC regulation on the coordination of social security systems 883/2004. The regulation came into force on 1.5.2010.  It followed regulation 1408/71. The EU regulation on social security is used to decide which country’s social security is applied to a person who works in the EU area. The EU regulations take precedence over conflicting national laws.

Regulation 883/2004 applies to EU Member States, EEA countries  (as of 1.6.2012) and Switzerland (as of 1.4.2012).

EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary,  Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

EEA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Regulation 883/2004 is applied to the following benefits:

  • sickness benefits
  • maternity and equivalent paternity benefits
  • old-age benefits
  • disability benefits
  • survivors’ benefits
  • early retirement benefits (part-time pensions)
  • benefits relating to accidents at work and occupational diseases
  • death grants
  • unemployment benefits (including benefits that are intended to maintain or improve the earning capacity)
  • family benefits (child benefit)

The regulation applies only to statutory social security. As a result, occupational pension systems are not covered by the regulation.

The regulation is applied to:

  • EU nationals who live in an EU country
  • refugees and stateless persons who live in an EU country and who have been covered by the laws of one or more Member State countries., as well as to their family members and beneficiaries
  • nationalities of third countries (excluding Denmark, Great Britain, EEA countries and Switzerland).

Working in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland

Click the headings below for more information on temporary work in an EU/EEA country or  Switzerland.

If your Finnish employer has posted you temporarily to another EU/EEA country or Switzerland you can, under certain conditions, be covered by Finnish social security. In that case, you will need an A1 certificate to prove that you are covered by Finnish social security. The Finnish Centre for Pensions grants the certificate.

Your employer can apply for the A1 certificate for a posted employee via our eServices. The certificate is needed also if you work in two or several EU/EEA countries.

As a rule, if you are a self-employed person working abroad, you are covered by the social security of the country in which you work as a self-employed person. In that case, you pay your social security contributions to that country, if it so requires. You have the right to the social security benefits under the legislation of the country in which you work as a self-employed person.

If you are temporarily posted to an EU/EEA country or Switzerland as a self-employed person you can, under certain conditions, be covered by Finnish social security and continue to pay your contributions under the Self-employed Persons’ Pensions Act to Finland. In that case, you need an A1 certificate to prove that you are covered by Finnish social security. You must apply for the certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions via our eServices.

There are no specific rules for grant recipients in EU’s regulation on social security or the social security agreements. When applying these regulations, however, grant recipients are equalled to self-employed persons. Therefore, if you work abroad as a grant recipient, the rules that apply to self-employed persons will also apply to you.

If you wish to be covered by Finnish social security while working abroad, you have to take out insurance under the Farmers’ Pensions Act. You also have to apply for an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions (if you work on a grant in another EU Member State, an EEA country or Switzerland) to prove that you are covered by Finnish social security. With the certificate you can prove to the authorities in the country in which you work that you are entitled to Finnish social security and that your social security contributions are paid to Finland. Apply for the certificate via our eServices.

If you are a civil servant, you are usually covered by the social security of your employer’s domicile country. The legislation of your employer’s home country is applied regardless of in which EU Member State you work, where you live, or what your nationality is.

In Finland, a civil servant is a person who holds a civil service post or is in an employment relationship with an employer whose operations are funded by public funds.

If you are a civil servant posted abroad, you need an A1 certificate to attest that your are covered by Finnish social security. Your employer must apply for the certificate for a civil servant from the Finnish Centre for Pensions via our eServices.

If you work as a civil servant in one Member State and as an employee or a self-employed person in another Member State, you must contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

If you are a sailor, you are covered by the social security laws of the country under which flag the vessel that you are working on is sailing. If you are working on a vessel that sails under the flag of another EU/EEA country, you are covered by the social security laws of that country, even if you live permanently in Finland.

The rule of the flag does not apply if the country you live in is the same EU/EEA country as the domicile country of the company that pays your wages but you work on a vessel that sails under the flag of another country. In that case, you will be covered by the social security laws of the country in which you live.

Apply for an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions if

  • you work on a vessel that sails under the Finnish flag but you live in another EU/EEA country, or
  • you live in Finland and your wage is paid from Finland, but you work on a ship that sails under the flag of another EU/EEA country.

Contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions to sort out which country’s social security laws apply to you if

  • you work regularly on two vessels that sail under different flags, or
  • in addition to working as a sailor, you are an employee or a self-employed person in Finland or another EU/EEA country.

If you work on a vessel that sails under the flag of another EU/EEA country but you live in Finland, apply for an A1 certificate from the authorities in the country under which flag the vessel sails. You must also notify the Social Security Institution (Kela) of this.

If you are a member of a flight crew within the EU/EEA area, your social security will be arranged in the Member State in which your home base is.

The home base of a flight operator’s crew is defined in Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 as the place in which the flight crew regularly begins and ends its shift or a series of consecutive shifts, and in which the flight operator is not, as a rule, in charge of the crew’s accommodation.

The flight operator has to apply for an A1 certificate for a crew member when, for example, the crew member does not live in the country in which the home base is.

Working in several EU/EEA countries or Switzerland

If you work in two or more EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you should only be covered by the social security of one country. You are considered to be working in several countries if

  • you repeatedly change country of employment (mechanics, chauffeurs, artists), or
  • your work in several countries is repeatedly alternating.

Your status of working in several countries is estimated for a period of 12 months at a time.

The EU regulations on social security include separate rules on the social security of people working in two or several EU countries. The factors listed below affect the decision on which country’s legislation should be applied to you if you work in several countries:

  • In which country do you live permanently?
  • Do you work as an employee, a civil servant or a self-employed person?
  • In which country do you conduct a considerable part of your work?
  • What is the nationality of your employers?
  • If you work as a self-employed person, in which country do you conduct the main part of your self-employment?
  • When has your employment/self-employment begun?
  • Have the circumstances of your employment/self-employment remained unchanged?

As a rule, the country whose social security should be applied to you when you work in several countries is determined based on whether you conduct the major part of your work/self-employment in the country in which you live. A major part refers to a major part of your overall work (numerical majority). In the EU regulation, the limit is set at 25 per cent. The working hours and/or salary are taken into account when determining the considerable part.

The legislation of the country in which you live is applied

  • Always when you do a considerable part (25% or more) of your working hours in the country in which you live.
  • The number of employers or their domiciles do not matter.

The legislation of your employer’s domicile country is applied

  • If you do not do a considerable part of your working hours in the country in which you live, the laws of your employer’s domicile country is applied.
  • If the domicile countries of your employers are the country in which you live and one other country, the legislation of the country in which you do not live will be applied.
  • If you have at least two employers whose domicile is in another country than the one in which you live, the legislation of the country in which you live will be applied.

Grant recipients fall under the rules for the self-employed in the EU regulation.

The laws of the country in which you live are applied if

  • you do a considerable part (25% or more) of your working hours in the country in which you live.

The laws of the country in which you do the majority of your self-employment is applied if

  • you do not do the main part of your working hours in the country in which you live.
  • If you are a grant recipient, the country from which your grant was awarded is considered the central location of your work.

When you work in different roles in different countries, the rule of the main part of the work is not applied.

  • Civil servant in one country and employee/self-employed in another: The laws of the country in which you work as a civil servant apply.
  • Employed in one country and self-employed in another: The laws of the country in which you work as an employee apply.

The picture below summarizes the mutual order of the various roles when working in several countries.

If  you work in several countries, you are to pay social security contributions only to one country. In that case, you have to apply for an A1 certificate from the authorities in the country in which you live. The certificate proves to which country your social security contributions are to be paid.

If you work in different countries for several employers, the social security contributions for all your work are to be paid to the country that granted the A1 certificate.

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Apply for the A1 certificate

If you meet the conditions and work in two or more countries, we will grant you the A1 certificate to prove that you are covered by Finnish social security laws. You have to apply for it in the same way as for a posted employee. While the certificate is valid, your foreign employers are under obligation to pay the statutory social security contributions for your work to Finland.

If you work in two or more EU countries both as an employee and as a civil servant or as an employee and a self-employed person, look at the section “In different roles in several countries” above. If you have further questions, contact us.

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