Insuring work abroad

Are you posting an employee abroad? Are you going to hire a foreign worker? Do you need more information about social security in a particular country? We are happy to help you with questions related to insurance when working abroad.

Insuring employees in international situations

Insurance for work abroad is governed by the legislation of Finland and the country of work, EU regulations and the social security agreements made by Finland. Click on the headings below for guidance in the most common situations. Please feel free to contact us at the number 010 192 091 if you have questions related to insurance when working abroad.

As a general rule, your company’s employees are insured in the country in which they work, and are entitled to that country’s social security benefits. You and the employee cannot agree on which country they will be insured in.

However, your employee can remain covered by Finnish social security if they have been granted a certificate for posted worker (e.g. A1), or they are working simultaneously in two or more EU/EEA countries and/or Switzerland, and have a valid certificate A1 from Finland.

Apply for a certificate for posted worker in the Finnish Centre for Pensions’ online service

Your employee posted to a non-agreement country must be insured in Finland in accordance with the TyEL act and usually also in the country of work.

Kela must always be informed when a person moves abroad. Also a temporary stay abroad and the return to Finland must be reported.

As a general rule, employees are insured in the country in which they work and they are entitled to that country’s social security benefits.

EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

In EU and EEA countries and Switzerland, only one country’s social security legislation is applied to a person at a time. Generally, a person is covered by the social security of the country of work.

There are exceptions to the insurance rules for posted employees and people working in more than one EU/EEA country at the same time.

A posted employee must meet specific criteria so that they can continue to be covered by Finland’s social security while they are posted abroad. A posted employee must have a certificate for posted worker (A1).

Read more about working in EU countries

Other social security agreement countries

Finland has bilateral social security agreements with Australia, Canada/Quebec, Chile, China, India, Israel, South Korea and the United States. An agreement with Japan is being negotiated.

The scope of the bilateral social security agreements varies. The most limited agreements only apply to pension insurance. All of the agreement countries and the EU have the same conditions that specify when an employee is considered to be a posted employee.

More information on working in social security agreement countries

When a person is posted to work in a country with which Finland does not have a valid social security agreement, their social security is determined based on the legislation of Finland and the country of work.

An employee posted to work in another country by a Finnish employer will remain covered by Finland’s earnings-related pension insurance without time limits if Finland and the country in which they are working do not have a social security agreement.

Finland’s earnings-related pension insurance is mandatory when a Finnish employer posts an employee abroad. In this case, it may occur that insurance contributions will be paid to two countries. If a Finnish employee is hired from abroad to work there, insurance is not mandatory.

A posted employee does not have to be a citizen of Finland, but Finnish social security must apply to them when the employment relationship starts.

If the employee’s country of work changes during the period of posting, but they remain in the employ of the original employer, the TyEL insurance remains in force.

More information on working in a non-agreement country

Are you posting your employee abroad for more than six months? If they are covered by Finnish social security, agree with them in writing on a salary for insurance purposes before the period of posting begins.

In work abroad, the basis for statutory contributions and benefits is usually the pensionable salary instead of actual earnings. The pensionable salary must correspond to the salary that would be paid for similar work in Finland. A basis is often the earnings under TyEL in Finland, which preceded the posting.

During the time abroad, statutory contributions and benefits are determined based on the pensionable salary. The same reporting practices apply to posted employees as to employees working in Finland, regardless of who pays the salary.

Work performed in Finland is usually insured in Finland irrespective of the employer’s or employee’s nationality. According to law, the employer must take out earnings-related pension insurance (TyEL) for the employee, as well as an accident and unemployment insurance policy. Varma provides TyEL insurance.

You do not need to insure an employee posted abroad according to TyEL in these situations:

  • Your employee has received a certificate for posted worker from an agreement country.
  • Your employee is working simultaneously in two or more EU/EEA countries and/or Switzerland, and has a valid certificate A1 from another country.
  • Your employee has been posted to Finland from a non-agreement country and their posting will last a maximum of 2 years.

Advice from the Finnish Centre for Pensions

The website of the Finnish Centre for Pensions provides comprehensive information on pension insurance in international situations.

Finnish Centre for Pensions’ Insurance While Working Abroad website

Help with using our services

Take care of your TyEL matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • view your TyEL insurance invoices and invoice specifications
  • view earnings by employee
  • send us messages and attachments through a secure connection
  • calculate estimates of TyEL contributions
Take care of your matters online