The national social insurance institution- Kela found that 7,066 people who may be entitled to a national pension failed to apply for the pension this year .
They are entitled because their earnings-related pension is small and Kela will contact them, said Kela in a press release on Tuesday.
Kela regularly retrieves from its registers information on customers who have retired on an earnings-related pension and who may be entitled to a national pension but have not applied for it.
This register search is carried out about once a year. The previous register search in 2021 found 3,557 customers that may have been entitled to a national pension. Kela contacted them and about 1,600 of them were granted a national pension.
Most of the customers who will be contacted this year are persons who have reached the age of 65 years, but also younger persons who receive a disability pension are included.
Kela will contact the person and provide advice on how to apply for a national pension. The customer is contacted via the OmaKela e-service, by phone or by letter.
“Usually people fail to apply for a national pension because they have applied for an earnings-related pension before the age of 65 years. You cannot, however, receive a national pension in the form of an old-age pension until the age of 65, and so people easily fail to apply,” said Pirjo Raute, Benefits Manager of Kela.
All customers who are found through the register search are not necessarily entitled to a national pension because they may have other pension incomes. Such income can be for instance a pension from another country concerning which Kela does not receive information directly from the payer of the pension.
People can apply for a national pension retroactively for up to 6 months. However, if the national pension is granted on the basis of extended eligibility for unemployment benefits, the pension cannot be granted retroactively.
The national pension can supplement the pension income for pension recipients living alone who receive an earnings-related pension and other pensions to an amount not exceeding EUR 1,512.37 per month. For pension recipients living with a spouse or partner, this income limit is EUR 1,355.29 per month.
The national pension can be supplemented by a guarantee pension. The purpose of the guarantee pension is to provide residents of Finland with a minimum pension (EUR 922.42 per month) if their total pension incomes before taxes are less than EUR 914.96 per month.
However, the income limit and the minimum pension are lower if the recipient has taken early retirement on an old-age pension.
The customers who were found in the previous register search were granted a national pension to an average amount of EUR 86 per month. Although the sum may seem small, it can have a large impact on everyday life if you have low incomes.
If a pensioner experiences financial hardship, it is worthwhile to try to find out any possible entitlement to for instance housing allowance for pensioners or care allowance for pensioners in addition to the national pension.
If the pension and any other benefits are not enough to cover necessary housing and living expenses, people can apply for basic social assistance from Kela.
The basic social assistance is a benefit of last resort that you can apply for only when you have first checked your entitlement to any other benefits.