Social security coverage for posted workers

You are entitled to social security benefits during your posting if you are posted by your Finnish employer to another EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. The employment contract with the sending employer must remain in force during the posting. You must also be covered under the Finnish social security system before the posting begins.

If you work as an aid worker abroad, the development aid project you work for must either receive funding from development aid appropriations in the Finnish State budget or the Finnish government must participate in the project through the activity of an international organization.

Workers posted to an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom must together with their employer apply for a certificate A1 with the Finnish Centre for Pensions leaving Finland. The certificate shows that you are entitled to social security coverage in Finland during your posting. When necessary, present the certificate to the authorities in your country of employment or the company that pays your wage.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions sends information on A1 certificates directly to Kela. The certificate means that your entitlement to residence-based social security benefits provided by Kela will continue without a separate application.

Example

A Finnish employer posts Kaisa, who is covered under the Finnish social security system, first to Germany for five months and then to Italy for an additional two years. Kaisa needs the Finnish Centre for Pensions to provide her with a separate A1 certificate for each country. Kela does not issue a separate decision to Kaisa and her employer to state that Kaisa is covered by the Finnish social security system.

Example

Arttu lives in Berlin and telecommutes for a Finnish employer. As Arttu lives in Berlin on a permanent basis and works from Berlin, he is entitled to social security coverage in Germany. However, Arttu’s employer can apply for coverage under the Finnish social security system for Arttu (certificate A1 from the Finnish Centre for Pensions), if Arttu and his employer have separately agreed on this and he is posted to Germany.

Workers posted to other countries

Workers posted to a country other than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom whose posting lasts more than 6 months are entitled to benefits on the basis of a notification of employment abroad, if the person was covered under the Finnish social security system already before the posting. It does not matter what your nationality is or whether you were employed by the same employer before the posting.

You are entitled to benefits for a maximum of 5 years. If you have worked abroad for 5 years, you must return to Finland for at least 6 months in order to be entitled to social security coverage in Finland during your next posting abroad.

If a Finnish employer hires a person who lives abroad but is entitled to social security coverage in Finland for work abroad, the employee can receive Kela benefits for a maximum of 5 years.

Example

Lotta is sent by her Finnish employer to Japan for a four-year posting at a Japanese subsidiary. Lotta retains her coverage under the Finnish social security system during the posting because she was covered before the posting and because she returns to Finland regularly for holidays during her residence abroad. However, if Lotta lived in Japan on a permanent basis and looked for work there at the same subsidiary, she would lose her entitlement to Kela benefits.

Workers posted to a country that has a social security agreement with Finland are entitled to coverage under the Finnish social security system as regards the social security benefits that the agreement concerns even if the posting lasts for more than 6 months. In respect of other social security benefits, your social security rights are determined in the same way as those of persons working in a country without a social security agreement with Finland.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions determines whether you are entitled to the benefits covered by the agreement during the posting. Kela determines whether you are entitled to the benefits that are not covered by the agreement. The Finnish Centre for Pensions grants you a certificate of posting, proving your eligibility for social security benefits in Finland. The certificate will help you avoid paying social security contributions in two countries.