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Kela provides basic social security for all persons resident in Finland through the different stages of their lives.


Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, is a government agency that provides basic economic security for everyone living in Finland. Kela’s customers comprise everyone living in Finland and anyone living outside Finland who is covered under the Finnish social security system.
The schemes administered by Kela include basic pensions, health insurance, rehabilitation, basic unemployment security, benefits for families with children, housing benefits, financial aid and school transport subsidy for students, basic social assistance, benefits and services for persons with disabilities and conscript’s allowance.

Kela’s responsibilities include

  • informing the public about benefits and services
  • carrying out research contributing to the development of social security
  • issuing statistics, projections and estimates necessary to advance planning and continuous monitoring of benefit schemes and other operations
  • proposing improvements to the legislation governing social security

Kela is also responsible for the provision of the services provided by the National Archive of Health Information. The National Archive of Health Information (Finnish acronym: Kanta) is the blanket name for the national health information systems that have been set up for use by pharmacies, healthcare organisations and citizens. The systems include an Electronic Prescription Service, a National Pharmaceutical Database, a Patient Data Repository and the My Kanta online service.

Legislative portfolio

On an annual basis, Kela compiles a summary of the key development needs for improvements related to the legislation governing Kela’s operations. The development portfolio is submitted to the Parliamentary Committee for Social Affairs and Health, to Kela’s trustees and to the ministries  responsible for drafting legislation.

In addition to Kela’s own observations, the portfolio contains information on areas in need of improvement noted by Kela’s customers and partner organisations. The needs for development and improvement are related to simplifying existing legislation and its implementation and ensuring an adequate benefit level.  Numerous improvement proposals have been put forward concerning individual benefits and branches of benefits.

Mission and values

In accordance with its mission statement ‘With you throughout life – supporting you through times of change’, Kela secures the income and promotes the health of the population and supports the capacity of individual citizens to care for themselves.

Kela’s operations are based on the following values:

  • Respect for the individual
  • Expertise
  • Cooperation
  • Renewal

The legal status, responsibilities and administrative structure of Kela are defined in the Act on the Social Insurance Institution. Its responsibilities in the area of social protection are defined in a range of Acts of Parliament concerning specific benefits.

Last modified 03/07/2017
Updated 22/10/2012