Pension for degrees

You will accrue a monthly amount of pension for studies in Finland leading to a vocational upper secondary 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 accrued while studying for a degree in Finland, you have to have earned at least 20,571.69 euros (in 2024) in wages during your entire working life before your pension starts.

The pension you have accrued 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 accrue pension for different periods of time:

  • 3 years for a vocational upper secondary qualification (also when done under an apprenticeship contract),
  • 4  years for a degree from a university of applied sciences,
  • 3 years for a lower university degree, 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 accrue pension for a certain period of time. Even if you take several degrees for which pension accrues, you earn pension for only a maximum of five years of study in Finland. NB! If you were under 18 when you began your studies, you will not accrue pension for your studies under the age of 18.

You accrue pension 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 in Finland, you will accrue pension as if you had been receiving a monthly salary of 857.15 euros (in 2024). The amount has been set by the legislators and is adjusted annually with the wage coefficient.

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

Degree Pension accrues for Amount of pension/month
basic vocational degree
lower university degree
3 years ca €39
degree from a university of applied sciences 4 years ca €51
higher university degree 5 years ca €64

You graduate from a university of applied sciences in May 2024. You thus accrue pension for your degree for a computational period of four years (48 months). You accrue pension based on a fixed monthly euro amount. In 2024, that amount is 857.15 euros.

The registered amount that your pension is based on (for the year you graduate, that is, 2024) is calculated by multiplying the fixed monthly euro amount with the computational number of months that you have studied:

€857.15 × 48 = €41,143.20

You accrue pension for your rate of graduation at a rate of 1.5 per cent of that amount. Your monthly pension is calculated by dividing the sum by 12:

€41,143.20 × 1.5% ÷ 12 = €51.43

You earn a monthly pension of 51.43 euros in 2024 for your degree from a university of applied sciences. Your earnings-related pension is also multiplied with the life expectancy coefficient determined for your age group.

Degrees for which your accrue no pension

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

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

Check your pension record!

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

Check your pension record

You do not accrue pension for studies done while you draw a pension (old-age pension, disability pension, years-of-service pension).

If you have graduated after retiring on an old-age pension, you may have accrued new pension for your pre-retirement period of study. You must have received your degree by the end of the month in which you turn 68 years . To get the pension, you must submit a new old-age pension claim at age 68.

If you are drawing a partial old-age pension, you accrue new pension for studies in a regular manner.