Pension and foreign countries

Living or having worked abroad

Slightly different methods of applying for pension apply depending on the country where the pension has accrued. The application for pension that has accrued to you in EU Member States and EEA countries as well as in social security agreement countries may be filed with your own pension provider in Finland.

If you continue to live abroad, you should apply for pension in your country of residence. Pension can be paid into both Finnish and foreign bank accounts.

Pension recipients who live abroad must report their address to Keva each year. A reminder of this will be sent to you in stages throughout the year.

How to apply for a foreign pension when you live in Finland

Applying for pension that has accrued to you abroad differs depending on the country of employment.

EU Member States and EEA countries, countries with which Finland has a social security agreement

If you have worked in an EU Member State or EEA country or a country with which Finland has a social security agreement, you can file the application for your foreign pension with your pension provider in Finland. The pension will be paid from country to country.

Old-age pension

The age limits entitling to an old-age pension vary from one country to another. Even though you may have the right to an old-age pension from Finland, you may not necessarily get a foreign pension at the same age.

You can apply for a foreign old-age pension at the same time as you apply for a Finnish earnings-related pension if the pensions start the next month or during the two following months thereafter. In which case you should complete an application for an old-age pension.

You can also apply for an old-age pension by separate application, the starting time of the pension in such cases can be later than three months away. We recommend that you apply for this pension around six months before the pension starts. Use the Application for a foreign pension form to make your application.

Use the My pension service to apply for pensions. The service will take you through the process one step at a time.

If you are unable to use the My pension service

If for one reason or another you are unable to use the My pension service, you can also apply for a pension in writing. Please post your application and attachments to: Keva, FI-00087 KEVA, Finland.

Disability pension

You can use the same application to apply for disability pension from Finland and abroad. However, the right to a pension depends on the legislation in the country of work and the requirements for eligibility for a disability pension vary from one country to another. Even though you have a right to disability pension from Finland, you may not be entitled to one from abroad.

Read more about disability pension in Finland and how to apply for it.

Countries other than EU Member States and EEA countries or social security agreement countries

If you have worked elsewhere, the pension accrued in that country may not be payable to Finland or any EU Member State. If the pension is payable to another country, you must nonetheless apply for it yourself. You can consult the Finnish Centre for Pensions for advice.

How to apply for a Finnish pension when you live abroad

Have you earned pension in Finland but are now living abroad? The pension will be paid to you regardless of your place of residence.
Please note that different application instructions apply on the one hand to EU Member States and EEA countries as well as countries which have a social security agreement with Finland, and to all other countries on the other.

People living in an EU Member State or EEA country or a social security agreement country

You should apply for pension in your country of residence. Each EU Member State and EEA country has a coordinating agency that deals with pension issues, and applications for Finnish earnings-related pension will be handled by this agency.

The coordinating agencies are usually the same agencies that process their national pension applications. If you do not know what the coordinating agency in your country of residence is, you can ask the Kela Centre for International Affairs.

People living in other countries

Apply for Finnish earnings-related pension directly from Finland. Contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions or your pension provider.

Payment of pension abroad

Your pension can be paid into a bank account in Finland or abroad. Your nationality is of no relevance.

Pension paid abroad is liable to withholding tax. The amount of the withholding may be affected by factors including nationality and tax treaties.

Notify your foreign bank account online or in writing We will require your international IBAN account number and your bank’s BIC code in order to pay your pension into a foreign bank account. You can notify this information in the online service My Pension (available in Finnish and in Swedish) or in writing. 

How to change the bank account into which pension is paid

Proof of residence for persons living abroad

If you are permanently resident abroad, you must report your address to Keva each year. This applies even if your address is the same as the previous year.

The easiest way to report your address is through the online service My Pension (available in Finnish and Swedish).

We will send proof of residence forms in stages throughout the year to all pension recipients resident abroad. You can report your address online already before you receive Keva’s letter. If you do this, we will not send you a letter.

If for any reason you are unable to use the My Pension service, you can report your address also by signing and returning the proof of residence form to Keva.

If we do not receive proof of your residence by the deadline, payment of pension may be suspended until proof of residence has been provided.