Quick guide for pensioners

You can receive a national pension from Kela if your earnings-related pension is small or if you do not receive any earnings-related pension. The quick guide provides an overview of when you can receive a national pension from Kela or some other benefits for pensioners.

Where does the pension come from?

 

National pension or earnings-related pension?

Kela pays the national pensions. The national pension benefits include old-age pensions and disability pensions. Kela pays out national pensions and guarantee pensions if your earnings-related pensions are small or you receive no earnings-related pension.

The earnings-related pension is paid by the authorised pension provider with which you were last insured.

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Lowered capacity for work

 

When payment of sickness allowance ends

If you remain unfit for work because of an illness or injury and cannot get sickness allowance any more, you can apply for a rehabilitation subsidy or a disability pension. It can be paid by your authorised pension provider, by Kela, or by both.

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Apply for rehabilitation subsidy or disability pension

Apply for rehabilitation subsidy or national pension in the form of disability pension.

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Kela sends you a decision on your pension

Kela grants the disability pension on application and sends you a decision. It may take over 10 weeks to receive a decision.

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Eligibility for guarantee pension

Check if you are entitled to a guarantee pension. The guarantee pension secures a minimum pension. You can apply for a guarantee pension verbally or via Kela's online service.

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You will receive a decision on the guarantee

Kela awards a guarantee pension on application and sends you a decision regarding the pension.

Old-age pension from Kela

 

Amount of the old-age pension

Old-age pensions are paid by authorised pension providers and by Kela. Kela pays you an old-age pension if your earnings-related pension is small or if you receive no earnings-related pension.

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Will you retire on an earnings-related pension before reaching the age of 65?

You can choose whether to apply to Kela for an early old-age pension if your retirement age in the earnings-related pension scheme is lower than 65 years. In that case, the national pension will be reduced by an early retirement reduction. You can apply for a national pension at the same time as the earnings-related pension. If you do not apply for an early old-age pension at this stage, you should apply for an old-age pension when you reach the age of 65.

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Old-age pension from Kela at age 65

If your earnings-related pension is small, you should apply for an old-age pension with Kela some months before you reach the age of 65. You can apply for a national pension at the same time as the earnings-related pension.

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Kela sends you a decision on your pension

Kela grants the old-age pension on application and sends you a decision. It may take about 7 weeks to receive a decision.

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The guarantee pension secures a minimum pension

Also remember to apply for a guarantee pension if you are entitled to it. You can apply for the pension verbally or via Kela's online service.

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Pensions are subject to tax

 

When you retire, send your tax card to Kela

When you have retired you should send the tax card for pension income to Kela and the authorised pension provider after you have received the pension decision. You will not have to send the tax card again later. In the coming years Kela will receive the taxation data directly from the Tax Administration.

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Retired with children under the age of 16

 

Apply for an increase for children if you have children under the age of 16 years

If you are drawing a pension and you care for a child or children aged under 16 years, you can apply for a child increase from Kela.

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Kela grants child increase

The child increase will end automatically when the child reaches the age of 16.

Assistance with housing costs

 

Housing allowance for pensioners: Assistance with housing costs

If your income in retirement is small you should check if you qualify for housing allowance for pensioners or general housing allowance. You may be able to get housing allowance for pensioners if you are in receipt of a qualifying pension, live alone or together with your spouse or partner, or if the other persons living with you also receive a pension that qualifies them for the housing allowance for pensioners. Otherwise you can claim general housing allowance.

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Housing allowance for pensioners: Assistance with housing costs

You can claim housing allowance for pensioners online. Claims are accepted retroactively for up to six months.

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Kela calculates the amount of housing allowance payable

The amount of the housing allowance for pensioners equals 85% of the housing costs that are taken into account after deduction for the basic deductible and the additional deductible that is determined according to the earnings. The allowance is available for rented, owner-occupied, right-of-occupancy and partial-ownership homes.

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Housing allowance is granted by Kela

You will receive a decision on the housing allowance within approximately 4 weeks.

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Report any changes in your circumstances as soon as possible

Many changes in your circumstances, for example a change in your family situation, housing costs or income, may affect the amount of housing allowance you can get.  Your housing allowance must be reviewed after such a change, so tell Kela of any changes in your circumstances. Even if there are no changes, Kela will review the amount of housing allowance you get every two years.

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Other assistance for pensioners

 

Reimbursements for medicine expenses

If you fall ill you can receive reimbursement for prescription medicines. You can receive the reimbursement directly at the pharmacy if you have your Kela card with you.

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Costs for travelling to healthcare facility

You can get reimbursement for your travel costs in connection with the treatment of an illness.

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If your health deteriorates while retired

If your health deteriorates permanently in retirement, check if you can receive care allowance for pensioners.

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