You may be granted a disability pension if your ability to work has been reduced for at least one year because of an illness, an injury or a handicap. However, the possibility of returning to work through rehabilitation is always the primary goal. If your disability continues for less than one year, you may be granted a sickness allowance paid by Kela.
For detailed information on the disability pension and rehabilitation, as well as for an assessment of how much your disability pension would be, contact your own pension provider.
You can get a disability pension if you are at least 17 years old but have not yet reached your retirement age. If there is a chance that your ability to work might be restored, you will be granted a temporary cash rehabilitation benefit. Otherwise your disability pension will continue until you reach your retirement age.
To get a full disability pension, your ability to work must have been reduced by at least 60 per cent. You can get a partial disability pension if your ability to work has been reduced by at least 40 per cent. Note that the partial disability pension is paid only from the earnings-related pension system (not the national pension system).
|Degree of disability||Pension paid out||Pension benefit|
|Loss of ability to work at least 60%||until further notice||full disability pension|
|Loss of ability to work at least 40%||until further notice||partial disability pension|
|Loss of ability to work at least 60%||temporarily||cash rehabilitation benefit|
|Loss of ability to work at least 40%||temporarily||partial cash rehabilitation benefit|
Vocational rehabilitation helps you continue working
As your pension provider processes your claim for a disability pension, it considers whether you might benefit from vocational rehabilitation. Your pension provider makes sure that you have a treatment and rehabilitation plan. Based on your education and your previous work experience, you will together agree on what type of work suits you, considering your remaining ability to work.
If you meet the criteria for vocational rehabilitation, you will automatically get a preliminary ruling on your right to vocational rehabilitation under the earnings-related pension system. In other words, you don’t have to apply for vocational rehabilitation.
Assessing your ability to work
When your pension provider assesses your ability to work, it uses your health information on Medical Statement B and the information you entered in your pension claim to assess how your illness affects your ability to cope at work.
In addition to medical matters, your pension provider will consider your ability to gain an income doing the kind of work that you are assessed to reasonably be able to perform. Your education, your previous work tasks, your age, your work experience and where you live are taken into account when making this assessment.
If you are over 60 or you work in the public sector, your ability to work will be assessed more leniently. In that case, your ability to work is assessed only relative to your own work and its demands.
How much disability pension?
The disability pension and the cash rehabilitation allowance are of equal amount. A partial disability pension and a partial cash rehabilitation allowance is half of the amount of a full disability pension.
Your disability pension consists of
- the pension you have earned up to when your disability begins,
- the projected pension component which you would earn based on your regular income if you were able to continue working until your retirement age.
Check your pension record to see how much pension you have earned.
The purpose of the projected pension component is to compensate your loss of earnings because of your disability from when you become disabled until you reach your retirement age. The projected pension component often forms a considerable part of your disability pension if you are young.
You are entitled to a projected pension component if your earnings during the ten calendar years before you become disabled amount to at least 18,862.62 euros (in 2022).
You earn pension for the projected period to an amount of 1.5 per cent per year of your regular income. You earn pension for the projected period from the beginning of the year in which you become disabled until you reach your retirement age.
In addition to your earnings-related disability pension, you may get a disability pension from the national pension system (paid by Kela) if your earnings-related pension is small.
You were born on 15 June 1959 and become ill in 2022. By the end of year 2021, you have earned a monthly pension of 1,600 euros. The pension amount you have earned is adjusted with the life expectancy coefficient which has been confirmed at 0.94984 for everyone born in 1959.
Your monthly disability pension would thus be €1,600/month x 0.94984 = €1,519.74/month
Your regular monthly income before you started drawing a disability pension was €3,000. Your projected pension component is calculated from the beginning of the year 2022 to your retirement age (64 years and 3 months), a total of 21 months.
Your projected pension component is thus €3,000/month x 21 months x 1.5% / 12 months = €78.75/month
Your total disability pension is €1,519.74/month + €78.75/month = €1,598.49/month
Lump-sum increase to 24–55-year-olds
If you are between the ages of 24-55, your disability pension will be increased by a lump sum when your pension has continued without interruption for five years. The younger you are at the onset of disability, the bigger is the increase.
The aim of the lump-sum increase is to improve the disability pension level of the young in particular.
Disability pension becomes an old-age pension
Your disability pension will be automatically converted to an old-age pension of the same amount
- when you reach the retirement age of your age group if your disability began after 2016,
- at age 63 if your disability began between 2006 and 2016,
- at age 65 if your disability began before 2006.
Your partial disability pension is also converted into an old-age pension when you reach your retirement age, but at the same time its amount doubles, that is, becoms a full disbility pension.
You earn new pension for work done while drawing a pension. This new pension that you have earned will be paid out when your disability pension becomes an old-age pension. Note that you must claim this pension separately.
If you get a disability pension from Kela, it is automatically converted into an old-age pension when you turn 65.
If you want to know if you have the right to get a partial disability pension (or a fixed-term partial cash rehabilitation benefit), you can apply for a preliminary partial disability pension decision. You can apply for a preliminary decision from your pension provider if you are, for example, in working life, your ability to work has been reduced and your employer can arrange part-time work for you.
After getting a favourable decision from your pension provider you can consider retirement for nine months and discuss with your employer about your opportunities to change into part-time work.
You may receive a partial disability pension even if you don’t have a part-time job. If you are unemployed, you can register as a job seeker at an Employment and Economic Development Office and receive an unemployment allowance in addition to your pension. The amount of your partial disability pension is deducted from your unemployment allowance.
If you consider working while drawing a disability pension, please check with your pension provider what your earnings limits are.
If you draw a full disability pension, you can earn up to 40 per cent of the income level you had before you began drawing your disability pension. The earnings level is 60 per cent if you draw a partial disability pension. However, you can always earn 885.63 euros a month even if your individual earnings were smaller.
If your earnings are higher than the earnings limit, you can either leave your pension dormant (that is, have your pension payments suspended) or convert your full disability pension to a partial disability pension while working. You must leave your pension dormant for at least three months but not for more than two years.
Accidents, occupational diseases and industrial accidents are covered by their own statutory insurances, such as the workers’ compensation insurance and the motor liability insurance. Compensation is paid primarily from these insurances rather than from the earnings-related pension system.
Generally, the compensation based on these insurances are higher than your disability pension, so sometimes there is no disability pension left to pay. Note, though, that you should always claim a disability pension because it may improve your later income for the following reasons:
- If your ability to work is restored and you return to work, you will earn pension also for the period that you were receiving a disability pension. This will improve the level of your future old-age pension.
- If the compensation you get from the workers’ compensation insurance or the motor liability insurance is reduced at a later point, you may be paid some disability pension.
If you have worked abroad, you may have the right to get a disability pension also from the country in which you have worked.
For information on how to claim a pension from abroad and for the relevant contact information, please contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions, phone +358 29 411 2110.