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Applying for pension

Digital application and decision speed up the process

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.

  1. Check this page for your eligibility to receive pension. You should also check what other information is required for completing your application (besides your IBAN account number).
  2. Fill in the electronic application. Check when is the right time to submit an application.

You can apply for both earnings-related and national pension at the same time. Are you eligible for national pension? Check whether you would also be eligible to receive pension from KELA. If an illness is making it difficult for you to continue working, consider applying for rehabilitation.

Is your employee about to retire? What should the employer do? (pdf).

Apply for pension online

Log in using banking codes or a mobile certificate.


Apply at the right time

In most cases, old-age pension applications are processed within two or three weeks. Applying for a disability pension usually takes longer.

If you have lived or worked in an EU or EEA member state, Switzerland or a social security agreement country, submit the application in Varma’s eServices at the earliest six months before pension starts. If you have lived or worked in a country other than the ones mentioned above, apply for pension directly in the country in question.

Regardless of the country you have lived or worked in, always fill in the Appendix U, Residence and Employment Abroad, by logging in into our eServices. Note! The Appendix U must be filled in even if you did not apply for pension work carried out abroad because its information is used in determining the effects that your residence abroad has on your earnings-related pension and national pension. 

How to apply for old-age pension

At work

Following the pension reform in 2017, your pension will accrue at 1.5%/year. In addition your pension will increase by 0.4%/deferred month if you continue to work after turning 63.

You can retire on old-age pension at your discretion at any time between the ages of 63 and 68. Discuss retirement matters at your workplace, say, in a personal development discussion.

The pension begins after the end of the employment relationship at the earliest at the beginning of the month following the month in which you turn 63.

If you are between the ages of 53 and 62 your pension will accrue at a rate of 1.7%/year and at a rate of 1.5%/year after you turn 63. In addition your pension will increase by 0.4%/deferred month if you continue to work after turning 63.

You can retire on old-age pension at any time you wish between the upper and lower retirement age limits. The impact of the increase for deferred retirement (0.4%/year as of 2017) based on the pension reform at the target pension age would be equal to the reduction resulting from the life expectancy coefficient at the minimum retirement age.

Discuss retirement matters at your workplace, say, in a personal development discussion.

The pension begins after the end of the employment relationship at the earliest at the beginning of the month following the month in which you reach the minimum retirement age.

Applying for pension

Your minimum retirement age is @MinYear @MinMonth, your target retirement age is @TargetYear @TargetMonth and your maximum retirement age is @MaxYear.
Your minimum retirement age is @MinYear @MinMonth and your maximum retirement age is @MaxYear.
  1. Decide when you want to retire.
  2. Agree on the end of your employment well ahead of time.
  3. Apply for pension two weeks before pension starts. If you have lived or worked abroad, apply for pension at the earliest six months before pension starts and also fill in the Appendix U, Residence and employment abroad.
  4. You will receive a final pension decision only once the employer has notified the Incomes Register of the end date of the employment relationship and the payroll information.
  5. You will receive a message when we have made the decision on your pension.  If you had not ordered pension documents to your  electronic archive we will  send the decision by post to your home address.
Fill in the electronic application


Your pension will be paid into your account after the decision has been sent. In future, the pension will be paid into your account on the first banking day of each month.

The employee pension card that entitles you to pensioner discounts will arrive at your home address within around 2 weeks of the decision. You can also save your electronic employee pension card on your smart phone.

You may take on work after you have retired. Working while on a pension accrues pension at a rate of 1.5% per year without an income limit.

Old age pension in a nutshell

Old-age pension (pdf).

How to apply for partial old-age pension

  1. Plan. Estimate the amount of your pension 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 €7,958.99 in 2020 (€7,799.37 in 2019).
  3. Apply. Apply for the pension 2 weeks prior to the start of your retirement. Partial old-age pension can begin, at the earliest, at the start of the month after it was applied for.

Please note that when you decide to retire on full old-age pension, you must apply for it separately.

Partial old-age pension (pdf).

Partial old-age pension

  • Age limit 61 years
  • 25 or 50% of the pension accrued up until the end of the previous 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.

Submit your application to Varma if the insured (i.e. the deceased person) received pension from us or if his/her employment earnings in the two years preceding his/her death were primarily insured by us.

  1. Fill in the surviving spouse’s pension application if you are entitled to survivors' pension. Check right to pension. 
  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. 

See the PDF forms below to check what information you need when filling in an application. The fastest way to submit your application is through Varma's eServices.

Survivors' pension (pdf).

Survivors’ pension 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 application


If you cannot submit the application through eServices use pdf-applications in Työelä 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.

Spouse's pension application (pdf).
Orphan's pension application (pdf).
- Information for pension applicants (pdf).

Residence and employment abroad, appendix U (pdf).

How to send a secure email to Varma

Send an encrypted message at the address

  1. Enter your own email address as the sender.
  2. Click Continue. Enter the subject and your message. Include the required attachments. Press Send.

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 one week. 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 the Incomes Register. For this reason, you should not apply until two weeks before the start of the pension. If you have been working abroad, the processing takes longer than average.
The processing time for early old-age pension is about one week.

The processing of a disability pension application takes about six weeks on average. It is advisable to submit your pension application 2–3 months before the end of the 300-day sickness allowance period. 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 two weeks. It is possible to follow the processing of a surviving spouse's pension application online.

Please note that it may take longer than usual to process the application if we have to wait for additional information that is required to make a decision.

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