If you leave Finland temporarily to work as self-employed, you may in some cases be covered by YEL. How long you can keep your YEL insurance valid depends on the country you are going to and the length of time you will be there. You may be considered a posted self-employed person if you engaged in self-employed activities covered by YEL in Finland for at least four months prior to working temporarily abroad.
If you leave Finland temporarily to work in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you may, subject to a special exemption, be covered by Finnish social security for a maximum of five years. In this case, all statutory contributions are paid only to Finland. You must apply for a decision on your social security, i.e. an A1 Certificate, from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
Apply for an A1 Certificate through the Finnish Centre for Pensions’ website
If you leave Finland to work for yourself in the United States for no more than one year, you can obtain the FI/USA 1A Certificate upon application, in which case you will pay pension insurance contributions only to Finland.
Apply for the FI/USA 1A Certificate through the Finnish Centre for Pensions’ website
Likewise, if you leave Finland to work in Chile or Israel for no more than one year, the Finnish Centre for Pensions may grant you an exemption that allows you to remain within the Finnish social security system. Based on this exemption, you will pay pension insurance contributions only to Finland. Your other social security benefits will be determined according to the local legislation. Be sure to also inform Kela if you live or work abroad, even for brief periods.
You can be covered by Finnish social security as a posted self-employed person for a period of five years in South Korea, India and China based on social security agreements with these countries. According to the agreement with India, a special exemption may be granted after the five-year period, according to which you will be covered by Finnish social security for an additional three years. Under certain conditions, a special exemption can also be applied for and granted under the agreements with South Korea and China after the five-year posting period.
If you temporarily leave Finland for any other country (including the social security agreement countries of Australia and Canada, and the province of Quebec), you can keep your YEL insurance valid while you are working abroad if you will be returning to Finland within one year from the date when your posting abroad began. In this case, however, you may be obligated to take out pension insurance for your self-employed activities also under the local legislation. In addition, Kela will issue a separate decision on your residence-based social security.
If you leave Finland to work in a country for which it is possible to obtain a certificate for a posted self-employed person, but you do not apply for or are not granted the certificate, your YEL insurance ends on your last working day in Finland. If you work in another country for more than one year, your YEL insurance ends on your last working day in Finland. In these situations, please contact our customer service.