YEL insurance

YEL insurance is statutory pension insurance for the self-employed person.

  • You need YEL insurance if you are self-employed or a light entrepreneur.
  • YEL insurance accrues pension for the self-employed.
  • Self-employed persons’ other social security, such as sickness and unemployment allowances, is based on YEL income.

Take out YEL insurance easily online or over the phone

Take out insurance online

You can take out YEL insurance quickly online! For the application, you only need online banking codes or a Mobile ID.

If you would rather take out insurance over the phone, call us at 010 192 100 and we will go over your situation together. You can reach our customer service from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 16:00.

You get a 22% discount on your insurance contributions if you are newly self-employed. If you already have YEL insurance with another company, we will terminate the insurance with them on your behalf.

When do I need YEL insurance?

You need YEL insurance if

  • you are between the ages of 18 and 69*,
  • you work in your own company or as a light entrepreneur,
  • your self-employed activities continue for a minimum of four months, and
  • your YEL income, i.e. the value of your work input, is at least EUR 9,010.28 (in 2024).

* For those born in 1957 or earlier, the upper age limit for YEL insurance is 68, for those born between 1958 and 1961 it is 69 and for anyone younger than this, 70 years.

Usually, the starting date of your YEL insurance is the day on which your self-employment has begun. You have six months to take out insurance. YEL insurance is personal and one YEL insurance policy covers all your self-employed activities.

Read more about when you need YEL insurance

Information in Estonian: Teave YEL-i kindlustuse kohta eesti keeles

Information in Russian: Информация о пенсионном страховании предпринимателей (YEL) на русском языке

When YEL and when TyEL?

YEL insurance is a self-employed person's personal pension insurance, meaning you need YEL insurance if you work as an entrepreneur in your own company or as a light entrepreneur. With YEL insurance, a self-employed person accrues pension and takes care of their other social security.

TyEL, on the other hand, is pension insurance that an employer takes out for their employees. If you have an employee and you pay them wages or a salary, you must take out TyEL insurance. TyEL insurance accrues pension for the employee. Read more about TyEL insurance.

Is YEL insurance mandatory?

YEL insurance is mandatory insurance for the self-employed. In other words, it is statutory insurance. If you work as an entrepreneur or a light entrepreneur and you are between the ages of 18 and 69, you are obligated to take out YEL insurance for yourself if your self-employed activities last for at least four months. If your self-employed activities last less than four months, or if they are very small-scale activities and the value of your work input is low (less than EUR 751 per month in 2024), you do not have to take out YEL insurance.

When should YEL insurance be taken out?

YEL insurance should be taken out when you start your business activities. The starting date of your YEL insurance is the same as the starting date of your business activities. YEL insurance must be taken out within six months of the start of your business activities. This is referred to as the half-year arrangement period. The starting date of your YEL insurance, however, is always the date that you start your business activities.

Take out YEL insurance easily online

Can YEL insurance be taken out retroactively?

YEL insurance can be taken out retroactively. Keep in mind, however, that if you take out YEL insurance, for example, three months after the date when you started your business activities, you will also have to pay the insurance contributions retroactively from the date when your business activities started.

And if you take out YEL insurance only after the half-year arrangement period, you might end up having to pay not only the regular YEL contribution but also a penalty for neglecting to arrange pension cover. The penalty is at least 10 per cent of the amount of the YEL contribution during the period of neglect. The longer the retroactive period of your YEL insurance is, the more YEL contributions you will have to pay at once.

Read more about taking YEL insurance retroactively

What happens if I don’t take out YEL insurance?

Since YEL is statutory insurance for the self-employed, the Finnish Centre for Pensions monitors whether entrepreneurs take out the insurance or not. If you do not take out YEL insurance, the Finnish Centre for Pensions could ultimately take out YEL insurance for you. If that happens, you might end up having to pay not only the regular YEL contribution but also a penalty for neglecting to arrange pension cover. The penalty is at least 30 per cent and at most 100 per cent of the amount of the YEL contribution during the period of neglect. The State Treasury confirms the amount of the penalty for neglecting to arrange pension cover.

Can YEL insurance be frozen?

YEL insurance cannot be directly frozen but it can be terminated, and new insurance can be taken out again later. When your self-employed activities are interrupted for a longer period of time, let us know so that we can terminate your YEL insurance. YEL insurance can be terminated retroactively or you can inform Varma of the termination beforehand. The last day when your YEL insurance will be valid is your last working day. When you later resume your work as an entrepreneur, take out new YEL insurance.

Read more about terminating YEL insurance

Log in to the Varma Online Service and apply for termination

YEL insurance also for light entrepreneurs

Light entrepreneurship has increased dramatically in recent years. Light entrepreneurs employ themselves and take care of invoicing through an invoicing service company. Light entrepreneurship makes it easy, for example, to try out part-time self-employment. As a light entrepreneur, you also need YEL insurance.

YEL insurance also makes up the basis for light entrepreneurs’ social security. Also for light entrepreneurs, the YEL income is used as the basis for determining daily sickness allowance and parental allowance, as well as unemployment benefits.

Read more about YEL insurance for light entrepreneurs

What is YEL income?

YEL income is a yearly estimate of the monetary value of your work input. The YEL income is set at the right level right from the start, as it is used as the basis for calculating your pension accrual and your social security. It is the basis for the self-employed person’s daily sickness allowance, parental allowance and unemployment allowance, for example.

The lower limit of YEL income is EUR 9,010.28 and the upper limit is EUR 204,625 per year (in 2024). You can join an unemployment fund for the self-employed if your YEL income is at least EUR 14,803 (in 2024).

Your YEL income must equal the annual salary that would be paid to an employee with the same professional skills as you have for carrying out the same work. We will confirm your YEL income by taking into account your own estimate, your sector, your working hours, your company’s turnover and the possible seasonal nature of your self-employment. Varma’s professional customer service agents will help you in questions related to YEL income.

Read more about YEL income

Keep your YEL insurance up to date

During your career as an entrepreneur, you are responsible for reporting any longer-term changes that occur in your work input. Apply for a change when, for example, you switch from part-time to full-time self-employment or the other way round. You can apply for a change in your YEL income as often as you need to, but not retroactively.

The number of your working hours and your turnover may be small at the start of your entrepreneurial activities and your confirmed income may be lower. Be sure to inform us when your clientele becomes well-established and your turnover increases after starting entrepreneurial activities. This way, your pension accrues according to your sector’s true earnings level and the basis for your social security is assured.

Apply for a change in your YEL income

What does YEL insurance cover?

YEL insurance, i.e. pension insurance for the self-employed, covers all stages of an entrepreneur’s life. YEL insurance is a self-employed person’s social security. It covers:

  • illness, rehabilitation and disability,
  • a birth in the family,
  • unemployment and
  • retirement.

If you fall ill, you can apply for sickness allowance from Kela. If you have a baby, you can take family leave, with income security provided by maternity, paternity or parental allowance. If you become unemployed, you can apply for basic unemployment allowance from Kela. All of these social security benefits are calculated by Kela for the self-employed person based on their confirmed income under YEL insurance. Calculate the impact of your YEL income on your social security with our YEL calculator.

You may be eligible to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance if the confirmed income under your YEL insurance is at least EUR 14,803 (2024) and you belong to the Entrepreneur Fund.

If your illness is prolonged and you need support to remain in working life, YEL insurance will also cover your rehabilitation. If, despite it all, you cannot continue working as an entrepreneur, you can apply for disability pension.

YEL insurance naturally also accrues pension for the self-employed. When you reach your pensionable age, you can leave working life and retire.

How are YEL insurance contributions calculated?

The price of YEL insurance depends on your YEL income. The YEL insurance contribution is a percentage of your YEL income. In 2024, the contribution percentages for YEL insurance are

  • 24.10% for those aged 18–52
  • 25.60% for those aged 53–62
  • 24.10% for those aged 63–69

When you are newly self-employed, you get a 22% discount on your YEL insurance contributions for the first four years. The newly self-employed get the discount automatically when they take out YEL insurance. The discount can be used over two separate periods at most.

The YEL insurance contributions are fully tax deductible. You can deduct YEL contributions in your personal taxation or in your company’s taxation.

The YEL contribution falls due on the 20th day of the month or on the following weekday. You can divide up your YEL insurance contribution into instalments of your choice. You can pay your contribution in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 instalments, whatever suits you best. At least half of the annual YEL insurance contribution has to be paid before August. When you order an e-invoice or start using online invoicing, YEL insurance contributions become an easy task to manage in the rush of daily life.

Read more about YEL insurance contributions

Who pays for YEL insurance?

YEL insurance is paid for either by the entrepreneur personally or by the company. The entrepreneur can choose whether to pay the YEL contribution through the company or personally. We can send invoices in the entrepreneur’s name or in the company’s name. If the company pays the YEL insurance contribution, the contribution is fully tax-deductible for the company. Likewise, if the entrepreneur pays the YEL contribution personally, the contribution is fully tax-deductible in their personal income tax.

Read more in our article: How do I deduct YEL contributions in taxation – eight tips for the entrepreneur

YEL insurance is, however, the entrepreneur’s personal pension insurance, so the entrepreneur is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the YEL insurance contributions are paid.

Flexible YEL contribution depending on your situation

The YEL insurance contribution is flexible, depending on your financial situation. When times are good, you can improve your pension cover by paying an additional 10–100 per cent in contributions to your YEL insurance. You can pay additional contributions annually if you wish and have it deducted in taxation like all your other YEL insurance contributions.

You can also temporarily lower your YEL insurance contributions by 10–20 per cent. You can reduce your contributions for a maximum of three years within seven consecutive calendar years.

You can flexibly adjust your YEL contributions if your YEL insurance is valid for the full year of flexibility at a single earnings-related pension company. If you wish to apply the flexibility, you cannot have any outstanding contributions in your YEL insurance, you must not receive the discount for the newly self-employed and you must not receive earnings-related pension from Finland. Send us a flexibility application and we will check if it is possible to use the flexibility option.

YEL insurance flexibility is intended for a temporary increase or decrease in the contribution. The YEL income must reflect your work input and operating conditions. Flexibility does not replace the usual change made to YEL income.

Read more about flexible YEL insurance contributions

If you are experiencing difficulties in paying your YEL insurance invoice by the due date, you can apply for an extended term of payment in Varma Online Service.

Apply for an extended term of payment in Varma Online Service

Five reasons to choose Varma’s YEL insurance

1. Professional service

With Varma's YEL insurance, you will receive personalised service tailored to your situation at all stages of entrepreneurship. Our YEL insurance experts are there to support you through the twists and turns of your life and business. Whether it's an illness or hiring your first employee, don't hesitate to contact us about your pension insurance needs!

2. Easy-to-use online service

As Varma's YEL insurance customer, you will have access to the clear and easy-to-use Varma Online Service, which is always open. You can manage your YEL insurance matters on your smartphone, for example, whenever it's convenient for you. If you also have Varma's TyEL insurance, you can easily manage your TyEL insurance matters in the same service.

3. Flexible payment arrangements

Varma has its own knowledgeable collection advisors who constantly receive positive feedback from our customers. If you ever find yourself in need of flexible payment arrangements, contact us! Together we will find a solution for your situation.

4. Responsible operator

Varma is a pioneer in sustainability. You can rest assured that when we take care of you and your social security, we also take the environment, our employees, and future generations into consideration.

5. Discount for a new entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur just starting out, you automatically get an impressive discount of 22% on your YEL insurance contributions for a period of four years.

Help with using our services

Take care of your YEL matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • apply for a change in your YEL income
  • view your past and future YEL contribution
  • request an extended term of payment for an invoice

Sign in to the service using your personal banking codes.

Log in to Varma Online Service