Information regarding the coronavirus situation

We have compiled up-to-date information about the impacts of the coronavirus in this information package for Varma’s customers.

TyEL insurance

As our TyEL customer, you can ask for term of payment for your TyEL contributions. Penalty interest (8%) will be charged for the term of payment.

Navigation instructions: Log into our online service – click TyEL insurance – click Invoices of TyEL contributions – click Ask for a payment plan at the bottom of the page – Select the term of payment option that best suits you – Submit the request.

If you use the Palkka.fi service for employer contributions, you can apply for a longer term of payment by selecting Työeläkevakuutusyhtiön lähettämä lasku (Invoice sent by the employment pension insurance company). The option can be found in Palkka.fi under employer data. The option is only available in the corporate user interface, i.e. it requires a Business ID.

YEL insurance

  1. As our YEL customer, you can request for term of payment for your YEL contributions. Penalty interest (8%) will be charged for the term of payment. You can ask for term of payment by calling us 010 192 102, via chat or in our eServices.
  2. If the preconditions are met, you can use the flexibility option and pay a 10–20% lower insurance contribution. The flexibility option does not affect the daily allowances granted by KELA. Read more about flexibility in YEL contributions. Apply for the flexibility option in our eServices.

    Read more about flexibility in YEL contributions
  3. You can change the due months of your YEL contributions, as long as half of the YEL contributions for the year fall due before 1 August 2020.

Log in to our online service

If the decrease in business activity is permanent or it will be considerable for a long time, you can adjust the confirmed income of your YEL insurance. In this case, the contribution under the Self-employed Persons’ Pensions Act will be lower as well.

Revise your confirmed income conveniently in our online service

Please note that the lower confirmed income can decrease the daily allowances granted by KELA later if you are quarantined or fall ill. It can also affect your right to unemployment security. Eligibility for unemployment allowance requires the self-employed person's confirmed income to be a minimum of EUR 13,076. If you are a member of the SYT unemployment fund for the self-employed, remember to also inform them of the adjustment of your confirmed income.

When your work as a self-employed person is suspended for a long time or there will be very little work for the time being, your YEL insurance can be terminated. If necessary, YEL insurance can be terminated retroactively. The termination of YEL also expires the self-employed person’s accident insurance. Remember to also inform your accident insurance company of the termination of YEL insurance.

The last date of validity of the insurance policy is your last day at work.

Submit your request for termination via our online service

As of 8 April 2020, entrepreneurs will be entitled to labor market support from Kela on the grounds of sudden and unforeseen decline in demand caused by the coronavirus epidemic. If the entrepreneur has registered as an unemployed job seeker by 15 April 2020, it is possible to receive support retroactively starting on 16 March 2020.

The payment of labor market support requires that the person signs up as an unemployed job seeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office), and that a labor policy statement on the person's entitlement to labor market support is given to Kela. The law will remain in force until 30 June 2020.

Receiving labor market support does not require closing down the business or termination of YEL insurance. The benefit can also be granted to an entrepreneur who has terminated their YEL insurance due to the corona epidemic.

Read more about the changes in unemployment security for entrepreneurs in this press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Illness and quarantine

Quarantine refers to a situation in which a self-employed person has been ordered to be absent from work to prevent the spreading of an infectious disease, such as the coronavirus. The daily allowance pursuant to the Communicable Diseases Act is also paid to the guardian of a child aged under 16 if the child has been guaranteed and the self-employed person is not able to carry out entrepreneurial activities. Kela grants a daily allowance pursuant to the Communicable Diseases Act to a self-employed person who has been quarantined by decision of a physician. The amount of the allowance is based on the confirmed YEL income.

Read more about the communicable disease allowance on Kela’s website

A self-employed person who has fallen ill with the coronavirus can apply for sickness allowance for the period during which they are prevented from carrying out entrepreneurial activities from Kela. Being granted sickness allowance always requires a disease confirmed with a medical certificate.

Read more about sickness allowance on Kela’s website

The measures taken by the Finnish Government to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus have impacts on the lives of almost everyone in Finland. For example, the Government recommends avoiding unnecessarily spending time in public places and that companies close down sports and leisure facilities. Unfortunately, the measures will mean loss of income for many entrepreneurs, and livelihood can be very hard to come by during the next couple of months.

However, this is not loss of income due to quarantine or falling ill. As a rule, it also is not a binding order issued by an authority that directly concerns the insured business activity or property in which an event is held. That would be the case e.g. if the authorities prohibited the use of a specific property to prevent a communicable disease from spreading.

Usually, a binding order issued by the authorities is a prerequisite for a non-life insurance company to reimburse loss of income due to the suspension of business activities. The extent of the insurance coverage is also decisive. You can ask your own non-life insurance company about the extent of your non-life insurance coverage and any right to indemnities.

The amount of a self-employed person’s sickness allowance is based on the confirmed YEL income, and it is calculated over the period of 12 months preceding the calendar month before the commencement of the right to the allowance. A last-minute increase in the confirmed income therefore primarily has no impact on the amount of the allowance. Changes not related to entrepreneurial activities, such as a virus epidemic, cannot be grounds for increasing the confirmed income.

Read more about sickness allowance on Kela’s website

Pension application processing and payment of pensions

Private sectors’ earnings-related pensions are currently primarily paid through pension contribution charged to those employed. If the epidemic results in significant layoffs or dismissals, the earnings-related pension contributions collected may be lower than estimated. In such a situation, the buffer funds of the pension system would be used more.

How does a layoff or a termination of employment affect pension cover?

As no salary is paid, pension does not accrue on the basis of the salary during the layoff. Some pension accrues on the basis of the earnings-based daily allowance paid by the unemployment fund. When compared to pension accrued on the basis of income earned from work, the pension accrued during the earnings-based daily allowance period is smaller as the basis for the pension is 75% of the earned income used as the basis for the daily allowance.
Exception: pension does not accrue on the basis of the earnings-based daily allowance if the person in question receives disability pension at the same time.

The earnings-based daily allowance accrues pension until the minimum retirement age for old-age pension.

Pension accrual based on earned income ends with the termination of employment. However, pension accrues on the basis of the earnings-based daily allowance until the minimum age of old-age pension.

An older employee may receive unemployment allowance until the start of retirement on old-age pension or until the age of 65. This is called additional days of unemployment allowance, or the so-called “unemployment path to retirement”.

The entitlement to additional days requires

  • that the person has been in pension-insured employment for a minimum of 5 years during the last 20 years and
  • that a person born in 1957–60 has reached the age of 61 before the maximum unemployment allowance limit of 500 days is reached or a person born in 1961 or later has reached the age of 62 before the maximum unemployment allowance limit is reached.

It takes approximately two years to reach the limit of 500 days.

Part-time pension was replaced with partial old-age pension in 2017. There is still some part-time pension being paid. The payment of part-time pension ends if absence from work continues for more than 6 weeks.

The payment of partial old-age pension continues normally. Receiving partial old-age pension does not require employment. Partial old-age pension does not affect the earnings-based daily allowance.

The payment of partial disability pension continues at the equal amount as before. You are not required to be work while receiving partial disability pension. The partial disability pension amount is deducted from the earnings-based daily allowance.

Rehabilitation

Please contact our rehabilitation services if

  • your rehabilitation programme (work trial, job coaching, training) has begun and is suspended due to quarantine, layoff or need to care for a child due to the closure of schools and day care centres for over a month or is completely aborted
  • you cannot start your rehabilitation programme
  • your studies or apprenticeship training are completely interrupted or
  • your graduation is at risk of postponing due to coronavirus.

You can easily get in touch with our rehabilitation specialist via our online service: Varma.fi > Log in > Messages and attachments.