Working during retirement

You may work during retirement. Disability and years-of-service pension and part-time pension have an income limit, however. You accrue new pension on work carried out during retirement. Earnings subject to withholding tax, including holiday bonuses and fringe benefits, are considered income that accrue pension. Capital gains, such as rent and dividend income, do not impact the payment of earnings-related pension. If you work during retirement, remember to apply for pension accrued from the work.

Working while drawing old-age pension

You can work while receiving old-age pension without your earnings affecting the amount of your current old-age pension. There are no income limits.

When you retire on old-age pension, your employment relationship must end before the start of your old-age pension. If you continue to work for the same employer when your old-age pension starts, your employment terms must change.

We recommend a month’s break before starting under a new employment contract. If you cannot take a break, a significant change has to take place in your tasks, pay or working hours. If you start an employment relationship with a new employer, the same requirement does not apply.

You can apply for pension that has accrued while you are drawing old-age pension at the earliest at the highest retirement age. Fill in a new old-age pension application in our online service.


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Working while drawing partial old-age pension

You can work while receiving partial old-age pension without your earnings affecting the amount of your current old-age pension. There is no income limit or obligation to work.

You can apply for pension that has accrued while you are drawing partial old-age pension at the earliest at the lowest retirement age. Your employment contract must end in this case. Fill in a new old-age pension application in our online service.


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Working while drawing disability pension

You can work while drawing disability pension and years-of-service pension as long as you take into account your personal income limit. The work accrues pension, which needs to be applied for with an old-age pension application. Fill in an old-age pension application in our online service when your employment relationship ends and you have reached the pensionable age.


Your income limit depends on whether you receive disability pension or partial disability pension. You can check your income limit in your pension decision and our online service.

  • When drawing disability pension, your earnings cannot be more than 40% of your earlier income level.
  • When drawing partial disability pension, your earnings cannot be more than 60% of your earlier income level.
  • You may, however, earn 837.59 euros per month in 2021 without it affecting the payment of your pension. This earnings limit also always applies to Kela’s disability pension.
  • For self-employed persons, the YEL income can be 10,051.08 euros at most.
  • While collecting years-of-service pension, your earnings cannot exceed 837.59 euros per month at the 2021 level.

If you receive national pension or another benefit from Kela (e.g. housing allowance for pensioners), report your gainful employment to Kela. If you receive pension from abroad, contact the pension institution of the country in question.


Monitor your income on a monthly basis and let us know in good time if you exceed the income limit. If you know your income limit will be exceeded for the next three months, contact Varma so that we can suspend your pension for this period and we can avoid having to recover the pension. 


If you have any questions about suspending your pension and about income limits, please contact Varma. Log in to Varma Online Service, send a message in the Messages and attachments service and select ‘Disability pension’ as the subject.


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Leaving pension dormant


If your health improves to the extent that you could try earning above your earnings limit, you can try working and leave your pension dormant without worrying about exceeding your earnings limit (regulation in effect until 31 Dec. 2022). In this case, your pension will not be terminated, but instead it will be dormant and your pension payments will be put on hold for at least three months and at most two years.


When you stop working or reduce the amount of your work such that your earnings fall below the limit, inform Varma of the reduction in your earnings and we will resume the payment of your pension at your request. If your earnings are reduced, you can notify us thereof in a free-form message in our online service.


If your pension has been left dormant and you have not been able to work such that your earnings exceed your earnings limit for at least three months, your pension will be paid retroactively starting from the date that it was placed in dormancy. Contact Varma.
If you continue working and exceeding your earnings limit for more than two years, your pension will stop completely.

Working while drawing part-time pension

When you retire part-time, we will agree on personal income limits within which your earned income has to remain.

  • Your earnings may occasionally be 15% lower or higher than your personal income limit.
  • Your earnings must not, however, ever fall below 35 per cent or exceed 70 per cent of your income level for full-time work.


If your part-time work is suspended for no more than 6 months, you can return to part-time pension. If the interruption lasts for more than 6 months, you cannot return to part-time pension, because new part-time pensions are no longer granted.


If your salary changes more than the limits allow, your work is interrupted for more than 6 weeks or it ends entirely, please contact Varma. Log in to Varma Online Service, send a message in the ‘Messages and attachments’ service and select ‘Old-age pension’ as the subject. Your matter will be forwarded to the person managing your part-time pension.


In the online service, fill in an old-age pension application after you reach the lowest retirement age, when you finish your part-time work.


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Help with using our services

Take care of your pension matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • update your contact details
  • get pension and benefits certificates
  • check your income limit
  • apply for pension or rehabilitation
Log in to Varma Online Service