How do I claim a pension from abroad?

Claim your pension from abroad with the same form that you use to claim your pension from Finland. Attach Appendix U (form 7110e) to your application.  Fill in data on your work and residence abroad on Appendix U. (For instructions on how to fill in form 7110e, see form 7110oe).

You can submit your pension claim and appendices to an earnings-related pension provider, Kela or the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The Finnish Centre for Pensions will forward your claim to the foreign country.

You can claim your old-age pension on paper or online (via www.tyoelake.fi). If you submit your application online, you have to supplement your application with Appendix U (form 7110e), which you have to submit on paper. You can find and print out the form on this website by clicking the link “Application forms”.

Claiming a pension from an EU country when living in Finland

Separate claim form for social security agreement countries

When you claim a pension from a social security agreement country, you have to fill in a separate claim form that is in line with the social security agreement.

If you have stated on your claim form for a Finnish pension that you are also claiming a pension from a social security agreement country, the Finnish Centre for Pensions will send you instructions and a claim form in line with the social security agreement. To speed up the process, you can also print out the application claim forms by clicking the link “Application forms”.

Once you have filled in the claim form that is in line wiht the social security agreement, send it to the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The Finnish Centre for Pensions will confirm certain data on the form to the pension provider of the social security agreement country. Finally, the Finnish Centre for Penisons will transmit your claim to the pension provider of the country in question. That pension provider will process your pension application.

Claim your pension in time

It takes longer to process a pension claim abroad than in Finland. The processing time is affected by, for example, what type of pension you are claiming and from which country.

For more detailed information on the processing times, contact the pension authorities of the country in question. You will get the contact information of the foreign pension authority in a letter from the Finnish Centre for Pensions when it lets you know that your pension claim has been sent abroad.

You should submit your claim for an old-age pension 6-9 months before the date on which you wish the pension to begin. At the very latest, you should submit your claim during the month in which you want the pension to begin.

Fill in Appendix U carefully

Fill in Appendix U carefully, as the information you provide will form the basis for establishing your right to a pension abroad. It is important that you include information on all work that you have done abroad and any periods during which you have lived abroad, even if you are not claiming a pension from all of the countries you have lived and/or worked in.

Whenever possible, enclose copies of the following documents that relate to your work abroad:

  • work references,
  • employment records, and
  • pay slips.

Enclose also your foreign ID number or policy number, if you have one. At the bottom of this page you find more information on how the documents should be authenticated.

Foreign pension provider may contact you

Your foreign pension provider will establish your right to a pension from abroad. In the process, it may send you various questions relating to:

  • your work abroad,
  • your living arrangements abroad, or
  • your income abroad or in Finland.

The questions are usually sent in the official language of the foreign country. If it is an EU country, you have the right to answer your foreign pension provider in any of EU’s official languages. If you fail to answer the questions, the foreign pension provider may reject your claim.

Ask for a pension estimate from abroad

The Finnish pension record does not include data on the pension you have earned abroad. The Finnish Centre for Pensions  does not have that information, either.

If you ask, your foreign pension provider may give you an estimate of your future pension from that country. Some of them send you the pension estimate automatically at regular intervals, if they know your address. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get a pension estimate from another country. You may need banking credentials or other individual online banking ID codes for that country to get a pension estimate. In some countries, you may not get a pension estimate until 1-2 years before the retirement age in that country.

To get a pension estimate from abroad, you may have to contact the foreign pension provider personally. The easiest and often only way to ask for an estimate is to do it in writing. Some pension providers may send you the estimate on paper. Others may send you an individual code or a username and password with which you can check your pension estimate via a service on their website.

When you ask for a pension estimate, include the following information in your letter:

  • your name (also previous names),
  • your date of birth,
  • your current address in Finland,
  • your places of work and times of work abroad (also the addresses, if you know them) ,
  • your foreign insurance number of ID number (if you know it), and
  • the name of the pension system under which you have been insured (if you know it).
How to apply for a pension from a non-agreement country

Non-agreement countries are countries other than EU/EEA countries and countries with which Finland has a social security agreement.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions does not forward applications to non-agreement countries. Instead, you have to sort out your right to a pension from such a country and apply for that pension on your own.

Note that not all non-agreement countries pay pensions abroad.

Go to the website of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) for the contact information of pension providers in non-agreement countries.

How to apply for supplementary pensions

Statutory pensions are topped up with supplementary pensions in many countries.

As a rule,the Finnish Centre for Pensions does not transmit pension applications for supplementary pensions abroad. Such pensions are usually not covered by the EU regulation on social security or the bilateral social security agreements.

You can to contact the pension provider with whom you are insured for a supplementary pension yourself to find out if or when you have the right to the supplementary pension.

For more information, go to the page Additional information on pensions from abroad.

How to authenticate document copies

East and South European countries often require that you submit a copy of employment records when you apply for a pension from them. You do not have to submit the original documents, but the copies have to be authenticated.

To attach authenticated copies of your documents to an application to an EU/EEA or agreement country, do one of the following:

  • Send the original documents to the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The Finnish Centre for Pensions will make authenticated copies of them and send the copies abroad. It will return the original documents to you. This alternative is the fastest.
  • Pesent the original documents to an official at a Kela office. The Kela official will take copies of them and authenticate the copies. The official will then send the authenticated copies to the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The Finnish Centre for Pensions will send them abroad.
How to appeal a foreign pension decision

If you are not pleased with the pension decision a foreign pension provider has issued, you can appeal the decision. Follow the appeal instructions that came with the pension decision. Make sure to send in your appeal within the time limit stated in the pension decision.

Appealing a pension decision from an EU/EEA country:

  • Send your appeal to the pension provider who issued your decision or to the address stated in the pension decision, or
  • Send your appeal to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, Kela or your own pension provider. They will transmit your appeal abroad.
  • Write your appeal in any of the official EU languages. (If you write your appeal in the official language of the country that issued the decision, your appeal may be processed faster).

Appealing a pension decision from a social security agreement country:

  • Send your appeal to the pension provider who issued your decision or to the address stated in the pension decision, or
  • Send your appeal to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, Kela or your own pension provider. They will transmit your appeal abroad.
  • Write your appeal in any of the official languages of the agreement country or in Finnish (note that English may not be the official language of the agreement country).

You have to provide at least the following information in your appeal:

  • the decision that you are appealing,
  • the particular point that you would like to have changed,
  • grounds for your appeal (how you would like the decision to be changed, that is, what is wrong or lacking in the decision),
  • your own contact information (name, address, telephone number, personal ID or insurance number in the country that issued the decision), and
  • date and signature.
Ask for a summary of EU pension decisions

When you have got a pension decision from all EU/EEA countries that you have applied a pension from, you can check how they together affect your pension rights. Even if each country grants or rejects your pension application based on their national pension laws, the pension provider issuing the decision must take into account the rules of the EU social security regulations.  For more detailed information on the content of issued pension decisions and the grounds on which pensions are granted, contact the pension provider that issued your pension decision.

If you think that the pension decision issued by two or more pension providers have a negative effect on your right to a pension in two or more EU/EEA countries, you can contact the institutions that have issued the decisions and ask them to check their decisions.  In that case, you have to contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions and ask them for a summary of your EU decisions (form P1).

Once you have got the summary from the Finnish Centre for Pensions you can ask the institution that issued your pension decision to check its decision. You must send your request within the time limit stated on the summary (or the pension decision). The time limit may be different in different countries.

If it’s an older application, the summary of the EU pension decisions will be issued on an older version of the form (E211). After you have got the summary on form E211, you can appeal pension decisions which you have not been allowed to appeal before.