Social security

Social security when moving to work abroad

When moving to work in another country, social security may either be granted from the employee’s home country or from the host country.

When moving to Finland, the type of employment (a local contract in Finland, a posted worker from one’s home country or having employment in several countries) affects the eligibility for the Finnish social security.

In you are a posted worker or employed in several countries at the same time, social security may be granted from your home country.

The country of pension and social security will always be determined by respective authorities and will be based on the EU directives, social security agreements and local laws. This means that the employee is not able choose the country of coverage him-/herself.

Please contact the International Staff Services team so they can check your status before arrival.


Social security

Social security in Finland

Finnish social security is divided into residence-based social security and employment-based, earnings-related social security.



Finnish social security is mainly based on permanent residency in Finland. This means that if you are moving to Finland on a permanent basis (at least 2 years) you will normally be covered by the Finnish social security system and will qualify for Kela benefits as soon as you move to Finland.

However, if you will work in Finland for at least four (4) consecutive months, minimum 18 hours a week and your salary is at least the sum determined in the General Collective Agreement for Universities, you will be eligible for residence-based social security benefits on the basis of employment from the beginning of your employment.

There are some differences in the scope and requirements of benefits for EU and Non-EU Citizens, but in general they are both eligible for the social security benefits on the bases of employment. A slightly different rules apply to employees coming from the countries that have a social security agreement with Finland (Nordic countries, USA, Canada, Australia, Chile, Israel, the Province of Quebec).

In case your eligibility to residence-based social security benefits will be created on the basis of an employment, the eligibility will terminate when the employment ends.

More information on social security can be obtained from the local Kela office or the In To Finland service point that has been designed especially for foreign employees coming to work in Finland. The International Staff Services contact person at your faculty will also assist you in the social security issues.

Kela Office Jyväskylä
Vapaudenkatu 40 - 42, 40100 Jyväskylä
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Further information:

Kela and National Health Insurancekela

Most of the social security benefits are administered by Kela, the Finnish social security agency.

If you have been enrolled with Finnish social security, you will be eligible for Finnish National Health Insurance and receive a so-called ‘Kela card’. By presenting your Kela card at pharmacies or many private medical clinics, you can get a direct at-the-spot reimbursement for your costs.

The card is normally asked also at the public health care services as a proof of eligibility to the National Health Insurance.

Further information: