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Applying for pension

Pension is a benefit that must be applied for

Before applying for pension, you can estimate the amount of your pension in our online service if necessary.

  1. Check this page for your eligibility to receive pension.
  2. Fill in the electronic application - check below for when to do so.

One application is enough, even if you are applying for both earnings-related and national pension.

Apply at the right time

Apply for pension

  • approx. 1 month prior to the start of your old-age pension
  • approx. 2 months prior to the end of your sickness allowance
  • 6 months before the start of your pension if you have lived or worked abroad.
    Also fill in an electronic Appendix U Living and working abroad.

If an illness is making it difficult for you to continue working, consider applying for vocational rehabilitation.

Apply for pension online

The electronic application is easy, safe and quick. Log in using banking codes or a mobile certificate.

Old-age pension
Partial old-age pension
Disability pension
Survivors' pension

More information on pensions

Read online or print out a brochure that provides you with information about pensions.

You can check the status of your application

Waiting for a pension decision can seem to take a long time. You can follow the processing of your application on our web service. 

The average processing time for old-age pension is about 40 days. Submitting the application earlier will not expedite the process; we will be able to make a decision only after we have received the final, actual pay information from your employer. If you have been working abroad, the processing takes longer than average.
The processing time for early old-age pension is about two weeks.

The processing of a disability pension application takes about two months on average. It is a good idea to apply for pension three months before the 300 days of daily sickness allowance come to an end. You will more likely receive a pension decision from us before the payment of your daily sickness allowance ends.

A survivors’ pension decision is normally made within one month. It is now possible to follow the processing of a surviving spouse's pension application online.

How to apply for partial old-age pension

  1. Plan. Estimate the amount of your pension in our online service. Also think about whether your current employment earnings will change, because working while drawing partial old-age pension is voluntary. You can also think about when you intend to switch to full old-age pension.
  2. Arrange. If you are employed and wish to reduce your working hours, you must arrange that with your employer. If you are an entrepreneur and your work input changes as you begin drawing partial old-age pension, be sure to indicate the amount of your new earned income under the Self-Employed Persons Pensions Act (YEL) in your pension application. Entrepreneurs must have YEL insurance if, while they are drawing partial old-age pension, the amount of their work input exceeds the lower limit for the mandatory insurance (€7,645.25 in 2017).
  3. Apply. Apply for the pension one month prior to the start of your retirement. The quickest way to send in your application is by selecting the electronic application form for partial old-age pension on Applications are also available at and from the social insurance institution (Kela). Partial old-age pension is not paid as national pension.

Partial old-age pension can begin, at the earliest, at the start of the month after it was applied for.

Partial old-age pension (pdf)

Partial old-age pension

  • Age 61 years
  • 25 or 50% of the pension accrued up until the end of the previous year
Electronic application

How to apply for disability pension

It is worthwhile considering applying for disability pension when you have received daily sickness allowance for 150 days. The pension usually begins when you have received daily sickness allowance for 300 days, i.e. approximately one year after the disability began. Apply for pension approx. 3 months prior to the end of your sickness allowance.

Medical statement B

Discuss your eligibility for retirement with your doctor. Once he or she has written a medical statement B for your pension or cash rehabilitation benefit you can fill in the electronic disability pension application.

Partial disability pension

You can apply for a preliminary partial disability pension decision while still employed full-time. Once you receive the decision you have 10 months to agree on part-time work. The pension can begin when your earnings are reduced to 60% of your previous income level. 

If you have not yet applied for pension, you can calculate or order an estimate of your  disability pension on our eServices.

Disability pension (pdf)

Conditions for disability pension

  • Age, under 63 years
  • Workability has deteriorated considerably due to an illness for at least one year
Electronic application

How to apply for survivors' pension

Apply for survivors’ pension as soon as possible but no later than 6 months following the death of the primary beneficiary, because, unless there is a specific reason, survivors’ pensions are not payable retroactively for more than six months.

  1. Fill in the surviving spouse’s pension application. You can receive survivors’ pension if you were married before your spouse turned 65.
  2. Fill in a separate survivors’ pension application form for each child.
  3. Fill in an appendix U (Living and working abroad) if you or the primary beneficiary has worked or lived abroad. 

Survivors’ pension application (Varma's webservice)

Orphan's pension application (pdf, ETK)
Information for pension applicants
Residence and employment abroad, appendix U

Please fill in the form preferably on your computer screen, print it out and sign it. You can send in an application either by post to Varma, P.O. Box 3, FI-00098 VARMA or you can scan your signed application and send it in a secure email via Please enter the following email address in the “To” field:

Survivors’ pension can be granted to

  • a child under 18 years of age
  • the spouse of the deceased
  • the surviving partner of a registered partnership

A common-law spouse is not entitled to survivors’ pension.

Survivors' pension

Check right to pension

Verify whether or not the widow(er) is entitled to survivors' pension

The surviving spouse can receive survivors' pension if the marriage was entered into before the primary beneficiary turned 65. A common-law spouse is not entitled to a survivors' pension.

Widow(er)'s own pension may decrease survivors' pension

Note! When calculating spouse's pension use only amounts of employment pensions. National pension is not included.

The spouse’s pension may be decreased, if

  • there are no under-aged children
  • spouse’s pension has been granted based on a death that has occurred on 1 July 1990 or later.

When is spouse’s pension decreased?

  • The widow(er) is over the age of 65 or retired > The decrease is made as soon as the survivors' pension begins
  • The widow(er) is under 65 and has not retired > The decease is made 6 months following the spouse’s death
  • The youngest child turns 18 > The decrease is made from the beginning of the month that follows the child’s birthday
  • The widow(er) is granted employment pension > The decrease is made again based on the widow(er)’s actual employment pension

Appealing Varma's decision

Have you received a decision from Varma that you are dissatisfied with? You have the right to appeal the decision within 7 + 30 days. Instructions for Appeal are attached to the decision and you should read them carefully before appealing the decision.

When you appeal the decision using the electronic appeal form, you will receive guidance in filling in all of the relevant information. You can take a closer look at the electronic form before filling it in.

The appeal must arrive at Varma at the latest by 4 pm (Finnish time) on the last day of the appeal period.

Appeal against decision

Appeal a decision online

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