YEL obligation

You need YEL insurance if you are self-employed. The insurance should begin on the day you start working.

When are you obligated to take out YEL insurance?

By law (Self-Employed Person's Pensions Act), you are obligated to take out YEL insurance if

  • you are at least 18 years old,
  • you work in your own company or as a light entrepreneur,
  • your self-employed activities continue for a minimum of four months, and
  • your confirmed income, i.e. the value of your work input, is at least EUR 8,063.57 (in 2021).

The general rule is that you need YEL insurance if you are self-employed. YEL insurance begins on the day when you start working in your company to the extent that the obligation to insure is met, that is when your YEL income is approximately 672 per month (2021). Usually the insurance begins on the day you start working. You have six months to take out the insurance.

The YEL insurance obligation and your insurance contributions are based on your confirmed income under YEL, i.e. on the monetary value of your work input.

Read more about YEL income

You can only have one valid YEL insurance policy, as one policy covers all of your work as self-employed. If you employ yourself in more than one company, estimate your YEL income as the total monetary value of your work input in all of your companies.

The insurance starts at the beginning of the calendar month following your 18th birthday. The upper age limit for YEL insurance depends on your birth year:

  • for those born in 1957 or earlier it is 68 years,
  • for those born in 1958-1961 it is 69 years and
  • for those born in 1962 or later it is 70 years

If you continue your self-employment while simultaneously drawing old-age pension, YEL insurance is voluntary.

More information on YEL insurance in Työeläke.fi service by the Finnish Centre for Pensions

How does the company form affect YEL obligation?

Different rules apply to different forms of companies in terms of who is, by law, considered to be self-employed. Sometimes a family member who works in the company is also required to have YEL insurance. This depends on the form of company and the family member’s work and position in the company. The different situations are described more fully below according to the form of company.

Self-employed persons who operate as sole traders are required to have YEL insurance. A spouse who works in the company is also required to have YEL insurance regardless of whether they are paid or not.

If another member of your family works in your company without pay, this person must also take out YEL insurance for themself. However, if this person is paid a salary, you must take out TyEL insurance for them.

Light entrepreneurs are considered entrepreneurs under the earnings-related pensions acts and require YEL insurance. Thus, if you employ yourself and invoice your customers through an invoicing service, you fall within the scope of YEL insurance.

Read more about YEL insurance for light entrepreneurs

You need a YEL insurance if you work in a limited company, are in a leading position and own more than 30% or, together with your family members, more than 50% of the company’s shares or the votes they confer. If the ownership share is less than that, you are insured under TyEL insurance.

A partner who is not in a leading position but works in the company and is paid a salary falls within the scope of TyEL insurance. Also, a partner’s family member who works in the company and is paid but does not own any part of the company is insured under TyEL insurance.

Leading positions are considered to include:

  • the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • a member of the board of directors
  • an administrative or division head
  • a person who, due to his or her position, has equivalent factual control
  • a person who owns all shares in the company or exercises corresponding de facto right of control in the company
  • a person who works in the company and who de facto decides on the company's operations even if he or she does not formally have a leading position in the company

A partner in a general partnership needs YEL insurance. A partner’s family member who works in the company and is paid a salary is insured under TyEL insurance. If the family member is not paid, they don't need either YEL or TyEL insurance, because they are not required to be insured under the earnings-related pensions acts.

Active partners in a limited partnership are insured under YEL insurance.

A limited partner who works in the company and is paid, is insured under TyEL. However, if they work without getting paid, no pension insurance is needed.

A partner’s family members who are not partners themselves but who work in the company and are paid are insured under TyEL. However, if they work without getting paid, they do not need to be insured.

You need YEL insurance if you are in a leading position and your controlling right alone is more than 30% or, together with your family members, more than 50%. A partner who works in the company and is personally responsible for the company’s commitments must also have YEL insurance.

A family member of a partner is insured under TyEL if they work in the company and are paid salary. Unpaid family members are not insured.

Partners who work in the company and are paid a salary but who have a controlling right of less than 30% and are not personally responsible for the company’s commitments are covered by TyEL insurance. If they work without pay, they don't need to be insured.

In applying the earnings related pensions acts, a family member is considered to be

  • a marital spouse or a partner in a registered partnership, regardless of whether this person lives in the same household as the self-employed person
  • a common-law spouse living in the same household as the self-employed person

Following persons are also considered to be family members if they live in the same household as the self-employed person or their spouse who is in a leading position in the company:

  • child or grandchild
  • parent or grandparent
  • adopted child or adoptive parent

A child living separately in their own household is not considered to be a family member when applying the earnings-related pensions acts. Siblings, uncles and aunts are also not considered to be family members, even if they live in the same household as the self-employed person.

Help with using our services

Take care of your YEL matters online

In our online service, you can, for instance

  • change 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.

Take care of your matters online