Students earn pension funds for degrees

You will earn a monthly amount of pension funds for studies leading to a vocational basic qualification or a university degree. In other words, it is not enough to merely study, you have to make sure that you also graduate.

Pension has accrued for studies leading to a degree since 2005. You accrue a pension for studies if you are aged 18 or more. To get the pension that you have earned while studying for a degree, you have to have earned at least 17,480.28 euros (in 2018) during your entire working life before your pension starts.

The pension you have earned for a degree will be paid to you each month for the rest of your life as of when you are granted the pension.

Level of degree matters

Based on the level of your degree, you earn pension funds for different periods of time:

  • 3 years for a vocational basic qualification and a lower university degree;
  • 4  years for a degree from a university of applied sciences; and
  • 5 years for a higher university degree.

The time you have spent getting the degree is not what counts. Instead, depending on the level of your degree, you earn pension funds for a certain period of time. For example, for a higher university degree, you earn pension funds for a maximum of five years, even if it takes longer for you to graduate or you take multiple degrees. If you graduate early, you still earn pension funds for the maximum time set for the degree level.

You earn pension funds also for a degree that you take abroad if you have received financial aid for your studied abroad from Finland.

How much pension?

While studying, you will accrue pension funds as if you had been receiving a monthly salary of 728.34 euros (in 2018). The amount has been set by the legislators and is adjusted annually with the wage coefficient.

How much pension funding you earn while you study at a university of applied sciences
Number of months
(4 years)
48 months
Monthly fixed amount that the pension accrues on €728.34
Income the benefit is based on €728.34 x 48 months = €34,960.32
Monthly amount of pension funds that you earn (€34,960.32 x 1.5%) ÷ 12 = €43.70
In this example, you will earn a monthly amount of pension funds of €43.70 for the period that you have studied for a degree.

Pension will accrue for a certain period of time, depending on the scope of your degree.

Degree Pension accrues for Amount of pension funds/month
basic vocational degree
or
lower university degree
3 years ca €33
degree from a university of applied sciences 4 years ca €44
higher university degree: 5 years ca €55

Degrees for which your earn no pension funds

Pension does not accrue for the matriculation exam, for further studies (for example, for taking a PhD) or for supplementing studies or basic degrees. Nor does pension accrue if you drop out before graduating.

You accrue pension funds for degrees that you have taken in 2005 or later. If you have taken a degree after the 2005 pension reform, you will accrue pension funds for studies done after 1 January 2005 only.

Check your pension record!

Pension funds that you have accrued for studies will be listed on your pension record in the spring after the year in which you graduated.