After a strenuous career

A strenuous and wearing lifetime of work leaves its mark. If you are ill or cannot retire on any other type of pension, apply for years-of-service pension.

If old-age pension seems to be too far away and you are not eligible for disability pension, one option might be years-of-service pension. You can apply for it if you are an employee, self-employed or unemployed. And when

  1. you are 63 years or over you have not yet turned
  2. your lower old-age retirement age
  3. you have performed strenuous and wearing work for at least 38 years
  4. your work capacity has weakened due to an illness or injury
  5. your latest employment relationship or self-employment and YEL insurance have ended no more than one year ago.

Your work is considered strenuous and wearing when it includes, among other things, difficult working positions or movements that require significant muscular exertion. Or if you work in an unusually demanding interactive job or in a job with a high accident risk.

The extent to which an illness or injury has weakened your work capacity will be assessed by Ilmarinen’s insurance physician.

What you get

When you retire on years-of-service pension, you receive the pension that has accrued by the time you retire. That is why it is usually smaller than disability pension or old-age pension.

You will receive years-of-service pension until you reach the lower old-age retirement age. After that, the years-of-service pension automatically turns into old-age pension.

New type of pension for people with a tough job

The years-of-service pension is a new type of pension that will be in use alongside the disability pension. Years-of-service pension can begin on 1 February 2018 or thereafter.

Working while on years-of-service pension

You can work a little bit alongside your years-of-service pension. The income limit changes annually. The income limit changes annually. At the 2020 level, that amount is EUR 834.52 per month.

If your salary or wages exceed the income limit, the payment of your pension may be interrupted or suspended. If, however, your salary or wages, once again, fall below the income limit, you will begin to receive the pension again. A pension may be suspended for at least three months and for no more than two years.

Work performed alongside the years-of-service pension increases your future pension by 1.5 per cent per year.

As an employee, you will accrue pension on your earnings and as a self-employed person on your YEL income. Earnings include all of the income subject to tax that you earn from your work, such as bonuses and holiday pay.

If you work alongside your pension, request two tax cards: one for your earned income and another for your pension income.

Years-of-service pension or disability pension?

The years-of-service pension is smaller than disability pension. That is why it pays to apply for disability pension rather than years-of-service pension.

Whichever you apply for, you need to have an illness or injury confirmed by a doctor. In order to receive disability pension, the illness or injury must be more serious than what it needs to be in order to be granted years-of-service pension.

This table shows the principal differences between the years-of-service pension and disability pension.


Years-of-service   pension

Disability   pension

When   you can make the switch

As of 1 February 2018

Whenever you wish to

At   what age can you retire?

63 years or over

When you have not yet turned your lower old-age retirement age

In   what situation?

When you have performed strenuous and wearing work for at least 38 years and your work capacity has weakened

When your work capacity has weakened due to an illness or injury for at least a year

Who   can apply for it?

Employees, self-employed persons or unemployed persons when work has ended no more than a year previously

Employees, self-employed persons and unemployed persons

Working   while on a pension

If your income falls below the income limit (834.52 euro/month in 2020), your pension will not be reduced 


If your income falls below your personal income limit, your pension will not be reduced

Impact   of Kela’s daily allowance

You do not need to receive daily allowance from Kela in order to be granted pension

You cannot usually receive the full pension until you have received Kela’s daily sickness allowance for the maximum period of 300 days