Article 2.3.2023

Insuring work abroad is often like an adventure in the jungle of bureaucracy

When you move abroad it is very important to know which country’s social security you are covered by during the time you live in another country and what does it covers. It is also important to make sure all official documents – both statutory and possible additional insurances – are in order.

Making sure you have everything you need in order might seem challenging and time-consuming, especially, if you're getting to know a new culture, society, and its norms at the same time. Did you know that Ilmarinen helps its customers in matters related to insuring work abroad?

Valuable experience and a lot of paperwork from working abroad

I have lived abroad, as well as worked and gained wonderful experiences from numerous different cultures and societies. I can understand very well how a foreigner can feel when he or she first moves to Finland. 

I also found it easy to relate with a situation where a person is coming to Finland for the first time and is trying to understand how Finland's social security and statutory obligations are structured and what actions are required from him or her. 

What does a service manager for work abroad do in an insurance company?

Six months in my new position as a service manager insuring work abroad have passed quite quickly. I get to be involved explaining the terms and the laws related to work in Finland to our customers, allowing them to focus on taking care of the rest of their everyday life. It has been great to help employees with questions related to their work abroad, as I also have first-hand experience from the subject. 

In the past, I received a lot of help moving abroad from Finland. I also met friendly people abroad who made it easier for me to understand the customs of the country, and the bureaucracy. Now I can pay it forward. Especially now when we need more international experts in Finland. 

Social security is determined by the country of employment and the social security agreements between countries

As a rule, which country's social security applies, and where the statutory pension contributions are paid, depends on the country in which the work is physically carried out, and whether your country of work and Finland have conducted an interstate social security agreement. International social security agreements and EU social security regulations aim to ensure that a person is covered by the legislation of only one country at a time, and statutory pension contributions are not paid to two countries. 

Social security, and what is covers varies from country to country, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local social security system in advance to understand, for example, who covers the costs in case of illness. It is easier to adapt and react when you know these things in advance, and they don't surprise you.

Our customers need practical instructions on everyday issues

The need for advice on what should be taken into a consideration when a person is posted abroad or leaving Finland for a short or longer project, or aid work is constantly growing. In addition, people ask a lot of help on what should be done when employee wish to work remotely from abroad.

To make sure we have all the right answers, we work closely with several different companies, actors, and stakeholders, to ensure uncomplicated cooperation and more comprehensive access to information for our clients. 

Multi-actor webinars on work abroad interest employers

Last autumn, we organized a webinar on work abroad in cooperation with Kela, the Finnish Immigration Service, the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Vialto Partners, which specializes in international taxation. We offered our clients the opportunity to send questions related to work abroad in advance, which we answered during the webinar.

Work-based immigration requires employers and employees to interact with several different agencies and companies, and we all wanted to sit down at the same table to answer our customers' questions and make their daily lives as easy as possible.

We were pleased to see that many and growing number of small and large global companies attended the event. The participants found the event so fruitful that we will have a new webinar in April. Our next webinar will also include a speech from Business Finland's Work in Talent Boost unit. 

Welcome to listen and ask questions!  You can register from this link (in Finnish)

Employees also need information on issues related to work abroad

I have been happy to see how foreign workers are delighted to hear that they can gain pension from their work done in Finland, which they can apply later from their own countries based on international agreements. We also help retiring employees finding their missing pensions from their work, they have done abroad during their careers.

Missing pensions are sometimes difficult to find especially years after, which is why it is important actively monitor your own pension record and ensuring that your own pension data is up to date.

We work every day to ensure that our customers consider good service to be Ilmarinen's number one asset

We have invested in our website so that our customers can find information as easily as possible. You can also find frequently asked questions about work abroad. We invest in the continuous improvement of our digital services. We also respond to inquiries by phone and online chat. 

Our multilingual and international team ensures that our clients have up-to-date information on what to do, whether you are an opera singer, a career football player, a flight attendant, a visiting professor, a humanitarian worker, an official or a project engineer going on secondment, a nurse moving to Norway on your own or an entrepreneur who wants to go abroad to work remotely.

If you or your employer is going abroad to work or coming to Finland from abroad to work and you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

If you are interested in the news of Ilmarinen's work abroad, please provide your contact information

Eija Niitynperä
Service Manager – International Unit, Ilmarinen

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