Social security agreements

You may have a right to social security when moving to or from Finland on the basis of a social security agreement. Finland has such agreements with the other Nordic countries and with the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, Israel and India (comes into effect on 1 August 2014). With Australia, Finland has also an agreement covering medical treatment during a temporary stay in the other signatory country. Further, Finland has made a separate arrangement concerning social security with the Province of Quebec.

The agreements typically cover employees and the members of their families. The provisions of the agreements are applied exclusively to the persons and fields of social security expressly covered by them. If no social security agreement contains provisions regarding your social security coverage, the Finnish national legislation will be applied, including its provisions concerning the temporary or permanent nature of a change of residence to Finland. For more details, see Other countries.

The social security agreements cover different fields of social security

  • The Social Security Agreement with the United States covers national pensions and survivor pensions as well as – for employees on a temporary assignment in the other country – health insurance, parental insurance and child benefits.
  • The Social Security Agreement with Canada covers old-age pensions and survivor pensions.
  • The Social Security Agreement with Chile covers old-age pensions, survivor pensions and medical treatment (for pensioners).
  • The Social Security Agreement with Israel covers old-age pensions, survivor pensions, child benefits and maternity grants. With respect to posted workers, it also covers health insurance and parental benefits.
  • The social security arrangement with the Province of Quebec covers medical treatment and health insurance.
  • The Social Security Agreement with Australia covers national pensions.
  • Temporary residents of Australia who are insured by the Finnish National Health Insurance are entitled to necessary emergency medical treatment.
  • In Finland, the new social security agreement between Finland and India (comes into effect on 1 August 2014) only covers pensions awarded under the statutory earnings-related pension scheme. It does not cover national pensions or any other benefits provided by Kela.

Nordic Convention on Social Security

Persons who move between the Nordic countries are, as a rule, covered by the provisions of the EU Regulation on social security. On the basis of the Nordic Convention on Social Security, the EU Regulation is also applied to persons who would otherwise not be covered by the Regulation. Such persons include, for instance, third-country citizens who move between Denmark and the other Nordic countries.

The Nordic Convention includes, for instance, a five-year rule on the right of returning migrants from another Nordic country to unemployment benefits. According to this rule, the employment history in another Nordic country of a person who returns to Finland from another Nordic country can be taken into account directly as counting towards the condition concerning previous employment for the Finnish unemployment allowance. However, one precondition is that the person has worked in Finland or received unemployment allowance from Finland in the previous five years.

Under the Convention extra costs for the return journey home from another Nordic country in cases of illness are reimbursed.

The Nordic Convention also includes more detailed rules on the determination of place of residence in unclear cases.

Last modified 01/07/2014
Updated 22/10/2012