Social security coverage for family members

The term ‘family member’ refers to married spouses and partners who are cohabiting or in a registered partnership. Also regarded as family members are children under the age of 18 years (children of one’s own, adopted children or children of one’s spouse or partner if living in the same household). Cohabiting partners are regarded as family members if the couple has lived together for at least six months.

The eligibility of family members for social security in Finland depends on whether they are considered to be moving to Finland on a temporary or permanent basis. If your residence in Finland is deemed to be temporary but you later start work in Finland, your eligibility for social security in Finland is determined on the same grounds as for employees.

If you move to Finland with your family member, your status is usually assessed on the basis of whether the family member who comes to work or study in Finland is considered to be resident here. If you move to a family member who is already living in Finland, you will usually be covered under the Finnish social security system.

Family members who come from an EU country are covered under the social security system of the country where they live permanently. If you move to Finland from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, your move to Finland must be considered permanent in order for you to qualify for coverage under the Finnish social security system. If you are staying in Finland temporarily, you may be entitled to medical treatment and family benefits in Finland. You can check your entitlement by contacting Kela.

If you move to Finland with an employee posted (sent on a temporary assignment) to Finland, your coverage under the Finnish social security system is determined on the basis of whether you are moving to Finland temporarily or permanently, even if your spouse/partner is covered for social security in his or her country of origin.

You are not considered as residing permanently in Finland if your family member works at a foreign diplomatic mission or in an intergovernmental organisation. If you have been covered under the Finnish social security system already before your family member starts working at a foreign diplomatic mission or in an intergovernmental organisation, you can remain covered under the Finnish social security system.

Family members of posted workers from countries that have a social security agreement with Finland

Family members who move to Finland from a country that has a social security agreement with Finland must usually be considered as living permanently in Finland in order to qualify for coverage under the Finnish social security system. Persons who come from a country outside the EU/EEA area must have a residence permit for at least one year.

Some of the social security agreements allow locally hired personnel of diplomatic missions to choose the country under whose system they wish to have social security coverage. This choice has no effect on the country under whose social security system their family members are covered.

The social security agreements usually concern pensions. Some social security agreements may contain provisions on individual benefits. The social security agreements with China and South Korea do not concern Kela benefits.