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 19,578.92 euros (in 2023).
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 15.1.1960 and become ill in 2023. By the end of 2022, you have earned a monthly pension of 1,650 euros. Your regular monthly income before you started drawing a disability pension was 3,000 euros.
Your projected pension component is calculated from the beginning of the year 2023 to your retirement age (64 years and 6 months), a total of 19 months.
You accrue pension at a rate of 1.5 per cent of that amount. Your monthly pension is calculated by dividing the sum by 12.
€3,000 × 19 months × 1.5% ÷ 12 months = €71.25
Your disability pension is the sum of the pension amount you had accrued before you became disabled and your projected pension component:
€1,650 + €71.25 = €1,721.25
Your monthly gross disability pension is €1,721.25.
The aim of the life expectancy coefficient is to keep in check the rising pension costs (caused by the fact that people live longer) and to encourage people to work longer. The life expectancy coefficient is also applied to disability pensions, but to a more limited degree. The coefficient is applied to the pension you have earned up to the time of retirement, but it is not applied to the projected pension component, that is, the computational pension you earn from the time of your retirement on a disability pension to when you reach your retirement age.
The life expectancy coefficient confirmed for the 62-year-olds in the year in which you retire on a disability pension will be applied to your disability pension.
The life expectancy coefficient is applied only once. When your disability pension becomes an old-age pension, the coefficient is not applied again.
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 your work ability has been reduced but you are able to work partially, you can claim a partial disability pension or a partial cash rehabilitation benefit (temporary disability pension). You can hand in your claim without previous sick leave, that is, while you are still working full time.
Once you have received a favourable preliminary decision, you have nine months to decide whether you want to retire on a partial disability pension. If you decide to retire, you must agree with your employer about working part-time. If you are self-employed, you must cut down on your self-employment.
Your earnings must be reduced by at least 40 per cent from your previous regular average earnings. Your individual earnings limit is listed on your preliminary decision.
You do not have to work while drawing a partial disability pension, that is, you can receive the pension even if you stop working altogether.
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 922.42 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.
If you have worked while drawing a disability pension or a years-of-service pension in 2005 or later, you must claim the pension you have earned for that work separately. If you have stopped working, you can submit your claim when your disability pension turns into an old-age pension. If you continue working, you can claim that pension once you stop working.
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.