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News 18.11.2021

Ilmarinen will increase contacts with new entrepreneurs when processing YEL applications to set the right level of YEL income

Ilmarinen’s goal is to improve the pension security of its self-employed customers. Self-employed persons deserve the same level of pension and social security as employees right from the start of their career as entrepreneurs. The best way for self-employed persons to ensure their continuous security is to maintain the right level of income under their YEL insurance. YEL insurance is a self-employed person’s most important insurance, because the YEL income is the basis for an entrepreneur’s pension and social security.

The YEL income reflects the value of the entrepreneur’s work input, and it should correspond to the salary that would be paid to a person with the same professional skills hired to carry out the entrepreneur’s work. In Finland, self-employed persons’ YEL income has been declining for a long time. Especially young entrepreneurs and those just starting out in self-employment tend to have low levels of YEL income. The YEL income does not always reflect the entrepreneur’s actual work input considering the extent of the entrepreneurial activities. Setting the YEL income too low leads to weak pension and social security for the self-employed person.

Ilmarinen is further increasing contacts with new entrepreneurs in the early stages of their career especially if the YEL income they have applied for seems low considering the entrepreneur’s work input. Ilmarinen offers self-employed persons expert and active advice on YEL income and smooth day-to-day service.

How does Ilmarinen advise entrepreneurs in determining their YEL income?

Often the entrepreneurs themselves are the best persons to estimate their YEL income. For that purpose, they can use the application service at or turn to one of our specialists for help. With the objective of ensuring the adequacy of entrepreneurs’ pensions, our specialists will be more active in contacting entrepreneurs that apply for new YEL insurance if the income they have stated in their application seems too low. Together with the entrepreneur, the specialist sees to it that the YEL income reflects the value of the entrepreneur’s work input before the insurance enters into force. We offer active advice to persons who are just starting out as full-time entrepreneurs, as the YEL income has declined in this group in particular. Next year, we will actively contact also our other self-employed customers to review their YEL income.

How is YEL income confirmed?

YEL income is confirmed based on YEL legislation, the application guidelines issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the information provided by the entrepreneur. The factors affecting the value of the work input include, among other things, the company’s business sector, turnover and the entrepreneur’s working hours. As a pension company, it is Ilmarinen’s duty to confirm entrepreneurs’ YEL income at a level that reflects their work input. Ilmarinen’s specialist will confirm the YEL income after having reviewed and considered the entrepreneur’s overall situation. In some cases, a higher YEL income must be confirmed than the one that was applied for.

The YEL legislation and the application guidelines concern all earnings-related pension companies. A working group at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is currently preparing legislative amendments to establish more unambiguous, up-to-date criteria for determining the work input.

For more information, please contact:

• Minna Hakkarainen, Director, Insurance Services, tel. +358 50 366 7467,
• Read more: YEL income as the basis for an entrepreneur’s insurance

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