A1. When would I be registered with the statutory pension system in Finland?
As a scientist receiving a Finnish grant or scholarship for scientific or artistic work, you are insured with the mandatory earnings-related pension scheme (MYEL) provided by Mela if you meet the following conditions:
- you are eligible for Finnish social security (see below)
- your grant or scholarship was awarded from Finland during or after 2009
- the grant/scholarship has been granted for a minimum of 4 months, with earnings of at least 1,276 EUR for these 4 months, which is equivalent to annual earnings of EUR 3,828
- you do not have an employment contract with the party awarding the grant or scholarship.
- The insurance obligation does not apply to studies for a vocational qualification, polytechnic degree or upper or lower level university degree.
a) When am I eligible for Finnish Social Security on the basis of residency?
Persons from EU/EEA Member States or Switzerland are covered by Finnish social security if they work in Finland for at least 4 months. Persons from other countries are required to reside and work in Finland permanently before they are covered by Finnish social security. If they have received the grant also for the second year, they are automatically covered from the beginning of the second year. For more information, please visit In To Finland.
b) How can I apply for insurance with Mela?
You can apply for the insurance once you’ve been informed that you are a grant or scholarship recipient, and you are about to begin or have begun the work for which the grant or scholarship was provided. You must submit your application form within three months of the date when you started working. You can apply online in Finnish or Swedish. In English you can apply by using the insurance application form on the Mela website (https://www.mela.fi/en/grant-and-scholarship-recipients/applying-for-insurance/)
If you are coming from a country other than the EU/EEA Member States or Switzerland, you can only be insured with Mela if you are covered by Finland’s social security legislation on the basis of residential status. Therefore, please submit a social security application to Kela at the same time as you apply for pension insurance with Mela.
c) Do I have to be insured with Mela even if I have an employment contract or if I am self-employed?
The insurance is mandatory even if you are otherwise employed (e.g. with a different institution) or if you are self-employed. Pensions can be accumulated from several pension schemes managed by different pension providers simultaneously. Therefore, pension insurance policies taken out in accordance with the Employees Pension Act (TyEL) or Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) do not have any bearing on the insurance obligation with Mela.