Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom announced its intent to withdraw from the European Union. A withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK was approved by the European Council on 25 November 2018. However, the UK Parliament has not ratified the agreement. The deadline for the withdrawal has been postponed three times through an agreement between the UK and EU, and the latest deadline is set for 31 January 2020. 

Should the UK withdraw from the EU, the withdrawal will either proceed in accordance with the terms of the EU-UK withdrawal agreement or the UK will leave the EU without an agreement.

We are monitoring the situation and will update this page as soon as more information becomes available.

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Withdrawal with an agreement

The withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU contains provisions on a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. During the transition period, the social protection of persons moving between individual countries will remain largely the same as when the UK was a member of the EU. The withdrawal agreement applies to persons who have moved prior to the end of the transition period as well as to their family members.

However, there will be some changes, affecting for instance the registration of the right of residence.  Contact the authorities in charge of issuing residence permits for your country of residence in order to find out the necessary steps and deadlines. UK citizens residing in Finland are advised to follow the guidelines issued by the Finnish Immigration Service concerning residence rights.

Consequences of a withdrawal with an agreement

The information below only applies to the transition period specified in the agreement. Kela will provide more information at a later date about the payment of benefits after the transition period.

Payment of Finnish national pensions to the United Kingdom

Pensioners living in the United Kingdom will continue to receive their Finnish national pension until the end of the transition period, i.e., 31 December 2020. As long as your circumstances remain unchanged, your pension will continue to be paid also after that date.

Student financial aid payments to persons in the United Kingdom

If you study in the United Kingdom and receive financial aid payments from Finland, the payments will continue normally.

Employees posted to the United Kingdom

A1 certificates issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions will initially remain valid but will expire at or before the end of the transition period. You will have a right to Kela benefits as long as the A1 certificate is valid.

Medical care in the United Kingdom

You will retain your right to medical care and to reimbursements for medical costs during a period of temporary residence until the end of the transition period. You will also be able to use your Kela-issued European Health Insurance Card in the UK.

If you travel to the United Kingdom during the transition period to receive medical care, you cannot get reimbursements for your costs from Kela unless you have been given prior authorisation to seek treatment (form S2).

Medical care in Finland

You will remain entitled to medical care and can get reimbursements for medical costs while residing temporarily or living in Finland until the end of the transition period. European Health Insurance Cards issued by the United Kingdom will be valid in Finland.

Kela’s customer service

Kela’s customer service number for international matters is open from 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday at 020 634 0200 (Finnish) and 020 634 0300 (Swedish). Both helplines also serve English-language customers.

On the Ask about international situations forum, experts from Kela answer questions concerning Kela benefits when moving to or from Finland. Customers are welcome to ask questions in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Additional information