Social security coverage for pensioners

Pensioners who stay abroad for less than 6 months retain their coverage under the Finnish social security system since the move abroad is considered temporary. If you intend to stay abroad for more than 6 months, your right to most Kela benefits will end on the day you move abroad. Read more about the entitlement to benefits while living abroad.


Marjatta receives an earnings-related pension from Finland and a national pension from Kela. Marjatta’s adult children live in Finland and Marjatta’s permanent address is her home in Turku. Marjatta also has a holiday home in Spain. Marjatta spends time at the holiday home a couple of times per year, at the most about three months at a time. Marjatta never stays in Spain for more than six months at a time and she has her permanent address in Finland, where she spends most of her time. Marjatta’s children also live in Finland and her pensions are paid from Finland. For this reason, Marjatta is entitled to the social security benefits provided by Kela.

Whether you will be covered under the system of your new country of residence depends on the laws applicable in that country. It is advisable to check this at an early stage. You should also remember to notify Kela of the move abroad if you receive benefits from Kela.

Persons who regularly stay more than half of the year abroad are not entitled to coverage under the Finnish social security system. Pensioners who mostly stay in Finland but who regularly spend part of their time abroad can be covered under the Finnish social security system if they maintain close ties to Finland.

In uncertain cases an assessment may be made regarding which country you maintain closer ties to. If necessary, this can be established by reference to such factors as

  • time of residence in Finland and abroad
  • family ties/family members and housing circumstances
  • recurring stays in Finland and
  • country that pays the pension.

You may be entitled to certain pensions from Finland even if you no longer are covered under the Finnish social security system. Read more about the payment of benefits in international situations.

Additional information