Concepts: Statistics on the pensions provided by Kela

Statistical units

The recipient of a pension benefit refers to persons who during the reference period received regular payments of benefit.

The data on disability allowance expenditures include all benefit payments made during the reference period, including both regular payments and amounts recovered or repaid.

The average amount of benefit only includes benefits paid out regularly.

Variables describing benefit recipients


In the statistics on current pension benefits, the age of the recipient is recorded as his or her age at the end of the reference period. Median age refers to the age at which half of the recipients are younger and half are older.


The municipality of residence of benefit recipients is recorded as their regular municipality of residence at the end of the reference period.


The illness of the recipient is recorded as the medical diagnosis underlying the application. If the applicant has several illnesses or impairments, the main medical diagnosis is recorded. The illness data in the online statistics are based on the main diagnosis.

The diagnoses and the diagnostic codes are based on the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), which was adopted in Finland at the beginning of 1996. It is based on the previous edition (ICD-9). Diseases are recorded as symptom-cause pairs. Kela’s benefit systems use cause-specific diagnoses.

Structure of pensions

National pensions can be paid out either at the full rate or at a reduced rate. Full national pensions can be paid to persons who receive little or no earnings-related pension.

Basis for pension

Indicates the basis on which a guarantee pension has been granted. For national pension recipients, the basis for pension is always recorded as national pension even if they also are in receipt of other pensions.