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

Withdrawal agreement

The United Kingdom has withdrawn from the EU on 1 February 2020 (Brexit). The Brexit withdrawal agreement signed by the EU and the UK has been applied since 1 February 2020, The withdrawal agreement includes a transition period that lasts until 31 December 2020.

The withdrawal agreement guarantees the social security entitlements under EU law for Finnish nationals who live in the United Kingdom if they have moved to the UK to live there or started working or studying there before 1 January 2021. The agreement also guarantees the social security entitlements for British nationals who live in Finland and have moved to Finland before 1 January 2021.

New agreement

The EU and the United Kingdom concluded the negotiations on their future relationship on 24 December 2020. The new agreement will be applied temporarily until 28 February 2021, until it is definitely approved. 

The new agreement guarantees the social security entitlements for persons who move between Finland and the United Kingdom after 1 January 2021. We will supplement the information on this page with information on the effects of the new agreement on social security entitlements as soon as possible.

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021

This section provides information about the impact of Brexit on your social security entitlements if you have moved from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021. 

If you have moved to Finland or to the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021, you are, in the main, covered by the same EU provisions on social security as before Brexit. The withdrawal agreement guarantees your social security entitlements for life or as long as your circumstances warrant the application of the withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal agreement also guarantees the social security entitlements for your family members. 

One requirement for the entitlement to benefits provided by Kela for British nationals who live and work in Finland and their family members is that they reside legally in Finland. Please follow the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi) as regards the right of residence and the time limits for the application for right of residence.

Kela obtains information on rights of residence from the Finnish Immigration Service. Kela obtains information on citizenship and changes in citizenship from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. 

Moving to live, work or study in Finland or in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 2021

This section provides information about the impact of Brexit on your social security entitlements if you move from the United Kingdom to Finland or from Finland to the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 2021. 

The EU and the United Kingdom concluded the negotiations on their future relationship on 24 December 2020. We will supplement the information on this page with information on the effects of the new agreement on social security entitlements as soon as possible.

The right to benefits provided by Kela usually presupposes that the person is staying in the country legally. Please follow the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service (migri.fi) as regards the right of residence and the time limits for the application for right of residence. Kela obtains information on rights of residence from the Finnish Immigration Service. Kela obtains information on citizenship and changes in citizenship from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Kela’s customer service

Kela’s customer service number for international matters is open from 10 am to 3 pm (Finnish time) at 020 634 0200 (in Finnish) and 020 634 0300 (in 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