Farmers’ statutory pension insurance or MYEL insurance

Farmers who are insured with MYEL pension insurance are also automatically covered by farmers’ occupational accident insurance, called MATA insurance. In addition to mandatory MYEL and MATA insurance, make sure that you are covered by sufficient voluntary personal insurance.

MYEL insurance forms the basis of your pension cover

MYEL forms the basis of pension insurance for farmers, forest owners, fishermen and reindeer herders. MYEL insurance is administered by the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Mela). 

Additional cover with life and medical expenses insurance

Life insurance secures the finances of a self-employed person’s loved ones should the worst happen. Health insurance speeds up your access to treatment and return to work. 

Financial support in case of business interruption

With insurance for business interruption due to disability, farmers can cover the costs of hiring an employee as a stand-in while they are unable to work.

What does MYEL insurance cover?

MYEL pension insurance forms the basis of farmers’ cover against illness and injury, and the basis of their pension cover. Under the Farmers' Pension Insurance Act, MYEL insurance is administered by the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Mela).

MYEL insurance is mandatory for farmers, forest owners, fishermen, reindeer herders and recipients of scientific or artistic grants and scholarships. Family members who work on the farm are also entitled to insurance from Mela.

Farmers’ pension insurance provides a source of income in old age and in the event of unemployment, disability or part-time disability. 

In the event of illness, farmers and grant and scholarship recipients with MYEL insurance are entitled to a MYEL sickness allowance from Mela during the qualifying period for sickness allowance. MYEL insurance also protects the self-employed person’s family’s livelihood in the event of their death.

MYEL insurance accrues earnings-related pension similar to other employee pension insurance. Farmers’ pension insurance MYEL increases the insured person’s total pension cover even during periods of other self-employment or paid work.

Is MYEL insurance mandatory?

MYEL insurance is mandatory for most farmers. 

MYEL insurance is mandatory if you are aged between 18 to 67 and own at least five MYEL hectares of cultivated fields, gardens or forest. In addition, your farm’s business activities must be taxed as agricultural income, and your work must continue for at least four months. Your annual MYEL earned income must be at least 4,032 euros (2021).

MYEL insurance is also mandatory when you engage in agricultural work as a distributee of a death estate or a shareholder in a corporation and meet the above requirements. 

If you are not required to take out mandatory insurance, you can still purchase a voluntary MYEL insurance. You can purchase a voluntary MYEL insurance if the requirements for mandatory MYEL insurance listed above are not met. 

In what situations should farmers take out self-employed persons’ pension insurance YEL? Sirpa Arffman, Personnel Risk Specialist at Pohjola Insurance, says that the choice of insurance is not free for farmers to make, nor are the two mutually exclusive.

– A farmer’s earned income is determined by their earned income according to the Agricultural Income Tax Act, including income from agriculture, forestry and subsidiary occupations listed in the Act. These activities fall under the scope of MYEL insurance.

If agricultural work is practiced through a business entity, personal insurance depends on the farmer’s share of ownership and position in the company. Shareholders in a managerial position who work on the farm must be insured with MYEL insurance if certain conditions are met. 

– If the farmer is also engaged in secondary occupations listed in the Business Income Tax Act, they must take out YEL insurance for self-employed persons for these activities. Permitted business activities on farms are limited to those listed in the Business Income Tax Act, such as greenhouse farming, in which case the self-employed person must be insured with YEL insurance.

How is MYEL earned income determined?

MYEL insurance is based on MYEL earned income. In insurance for farmers, MYEL earned income is estimated to correspond to the value of your work in the agricultural operation. It is not the same as the profits of the agricultural operation but an estimate of the value of your work.

Your pension and social security allowances as a farmer depend on your MYEL earned income. MYEL earned income determines the amount of your Kela allowances and your insurance premiums, for example. 

A farm’s earned income is calculated based on the area of cultivated fields (earned income from agriculture) and forests (earned income from forestry) and the farm’s subsidiary occupations. Subsidiary occupations include, for example, machine operations, beekeeping, timber sawing, greenhouse farming, agricultural tourism and sale of firewood. This means that a farmer’s insurance premium depends on the farm’s size in hectares, for example. 

Your personal MYEL earned income is calculated from the farm’s total earned income. If there are several farmers working on the farm, earned income is divided according to their share of the work. 

Life insurance helps secure the livelihood of your loved ones

MYEL insurance is not the only important form of insurance for farmers. MYEL pension insurance covers only a part of a farmer’s risks as a self-employed person.

In order to prepare against all types of risks, we recommend supplementing your insurance cover with voluntary insurance policies. 

Life insurance is one of the most popular types of voluntary insurance for farmers.

Life insurance helps secure the livelihood of your loved ones should the worst happen. Life insurance helps your family pay off debts of your business activities. Life insurance should cover your farm’s or business’s debts plus one year’s salary. 

Medical expenses insurance helps with treatment and return to work

Self-employed persons can sometimes fall ill. For that reason, it is important for self-employed persons to have fast access to good care after an illness or injury to ensure a speedy return to work. 

Statutory MATA insurance covers treatment expenses of occupational accidents and occupational diseases. MATA occupational insurance is valid automatically if you have MYEL insurance. MATA insurance covers occupational accidents and occupational diseases suffered by farmers in agricultural operations. However, it does not cover other illnesses. For this reason, we recommend taking out medical expenses insurance for your protection. 

With Pohjola Health Insurance, you have fast access to treatment, including direct consultation with a general practitioner or specialists. You also have access to Pohjola Health Advisor, who can evaluate your symptoms and refer you to treatment if necessary.

Insurance for business interruption due to disability ensures that work gets done

Work on a farm or in other agricultural operations is often seasonal in nature. A farmer falling ill or becoming injured during the peak season can significantly disrupt life on the farm. 

Insurance for business interruption due to disability ensures that an illness or injury does not result in insurmountable problems. 

Insurance for business interruption due to disability lets you purchase the labour from another business or hire a stand-in, for example. Insurance for business interruption due to disability can be taken out for yourself as well as other key employees of the operation. 

Corporate insurance policies are issued by Pohjola Insurance Ltd. Losses are covered in accordance with the law and the insurance terms and conditions. Life insurance is issued by OP Life Assurance Company Ltd, with Pohjola Insurance Ltd acting as the agent.

MYEL insurance is issued by the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Mela).