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Self-employed persons’ statutory pension insurance YEL

Self-employed persons’ pension insurance, or YEL insurance, is mandatory for most entrepreneurs. YEL provides coverage for self-employed persons’ pension and social security. Contact us for Mutual Pension Insurance Company Ilmarinen’s statutory self-employed persons’ pension insurance.

Mandatory for most self-employed persons

YEL pension insurance is mandatory if you meet certain criteria as a self-employed person. YEL insurance cannot be substituted by voluntary insurance policies.

Determines entrepreneurs’ pension and social security

Self-employed persons’ YEL insurance is the basis of your income when you retire or need social security. YEL determines your income during unemployment, sick leave and parental leave, for example. 

Take out Ilmarinen’s YEL insurance easily through us

You can take out Ilmarinen’s statutory self-employed persons’ pension insurance while taking care of your other insurance matters. Our co-operation helps ensure the smooth exchange of information and customer service.

YEL insurance is mandatory for most entrepreneurs

You should take out pension insurance in accordance with the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act immediately when starting your business. We recommend that you take out YEL insurance within six months from the start of the business at the latest. YEL insurance is mandatory if your entrepreneurship lasts more than four months.

YEL insurance accrues your old-age pension. Self-employed persons’ pension insurance also gives you cover if you lose your ability to work, fall ill or go on parental leave. Your family members are entitled to a survivors' pension if you perish. The amount of the pension is often determined on the basis of YEL income.

YEL insurance is mandatory for most entrepreneurs and cannot be substituted by voluntary insurance policies. According to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, there are approximately 200,000 YEL-insured entrepreneurs in Finland. Persons running a light-entrepreneurship business also need self-employed persons’ pension insurance. Part-time entrepreneurs must take out YEL insurance if the other conditions for insurance are met.

You must take out YEL insurance if:

  • You are resident in Finland.
  • You work in your company.
  • You have been an entrepreneur continuously for at least four months.
  • You do not have any other pension cover for the same activities.
  • Your annual income is at least EUR 8,063.57 (in 2021).
  • You are aged between 18–68. The upper ager limit for insurance increases gradually.

Managers of limited companies who hold more than 30% of the share capital or votes alone or more than 50% of the share capital or votes together with members of their family are also insured under YEL insurance. They must also own at least one share of the company they work at. Partners in general partnerships and general partners in limited partnerships are also insured under YEL insurance.

For private traders, YEL insurance is provided for the self-employed person. Often family members also work in the company. They are insured under YEL or TyEL.

Self-employed persons’ pension insurance YEL is the basis of the entrepreneur’s pension and social security

The pension insurance company you take the insurance out from will confirm your yearly income, which should correspond to your work input. When determining your work input, the pension insurance company will consider the information you have provided about your business as well as your own income estimate.

The pension accrued from your entrepreneurship as well as your YEL contributions will be calculated as  based on your income. Daily allowances paid by Kela, such as sickness and parental allowance, are also calculated as based on your confirmed income. YEL income also determines the amount of your unemployment benefit. If you are a member of a self-employed persons’ unemployment fund, you may be eligible for daily allowance based on your YEL income.

Self-employed persons’ pension insurance also covers your family’s livelihood. The better entrepreneurs have kept their YEL insurance up-to-date, the more secure the livelihood of their widows and children.


YEL income will determine your pension, social security and YEL contribution – try the YEL calculator

YEL insurance is a statutory, which means that the YEL contribution is the same in all pension insurance companies. The contribution is a fixed percentage of your YEL income. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health confirms the percentage of the contribution annually.

The amount of your YEL contribution is affected by four factors: your confirmed YEL income, the contribution percentage, the due months and whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur.

YEL contributions are entirely tax-deductible. You can deduct the contributions in your own taxation, your spouse’s taxation or the company’s taxation. Follow the tax authorities’ guidelines when filling out your tax return.

You can calculate your YEL contribution with Ilmarinen’s YEL calculator.

Minimum YEL contribution reduces cover to the minimum – how is YEL income determined?

YEL income refers to the monetary value of your work input. Your YEL income should be at least the same as the yearly wage paid to a person with similar competence.

Your working hours, your company’s net sales and the possible seasonality of your business are taken into consideration when determining your YEL income. All work you perform as an entrepreneur count towards the same YEL income – in other words, you only need to take out one YEL insurance policy.

According to the Finnish Centre for Pensions, the average yearly YEL income in the last few years has been approximately EUR 22,000. Our partner Ilmarinen recommends for a full-time entrepreneur to set their income at a minimum of EUR 20,000–30,000.

The YEL income also has a so-called unemployment cover limit of EUR 13,247 (in 2021). If your income is equal or greater than that, you may be eligible for unemployment benefit.

By taking out YEL insurance, you take care of both your pension and your social security. YEL covers you in different situations in life. It is advisable for the entrepreneur to set their YEL income to a level that reflects the actual situation throughout the duration of the business operations. 

Entrepreneurs are entitled to YEL sickness allowance

Entrepreneurs are entitled to Kela’s sickness allowance, which covers losses in earnings due to disability lasting less than a year. The sickness allowance must be applied for from Kela after two months from the beginning of the disability. 

The sickness allowance is paid after disability has lasted at least for the qualifying period. If the entrepreneur has YEL insurance, the qualifying period is the date of falling ill. If the entrepreneur does not have YEL insurance, the qualifying period is the same as that for wage-earners: the day of falling ill and the following nine business days. 

What is the difference between YEL land TyEL? 

Self-employed persons’ pension insurance (YEL) and the employer’s pension insurance (TyEL) both provide cover for retirement. Which one to choose depends on whether the work was done as an assignment or in an employment relationship. The general rule is that if you are an entrepreneur and fulfil the criteria set out above, you choose YEL. 

Uncertainty in choosing the right pension insurance may be caused by the fact that the company form, one’s position in the company, and family relations affect the type of insurance chosen. 

  • As a rule, YEL insurance is sufficient for a trader or self-employed person. If salary is paid to the family member of a trader or self-employed person, TyEL insurance is used. 
  • YEL insurance should be selected in a limited liability company if the shareholder holding a managerial position alone owns more than 30 per cent or, together with their family, more than 50 per cent of the company. If ownership is smaller, TyEL insurance should be chosen. 
  • YEL insurance is taken out for a partner working in a general partnership. TyEL insurance is selected for a family member to whom salary is paid. 
  • In a limited partnership, YEL insurance is taken out for a general partner working in the company. TyEL insurance is taken out for a silent partner working in the company or to a family member to whom salary is paid. 
  • Freelancers may have an employment relationship with one customer and assignments with other customers. According to the terms of TyEL insurance, the employer is responsible for pension cover in employment relationships. A situation, for example, where the employer pays salary to a freelancer and supervises the work is considered an employment relationship. If some other compensation than salary is paid, the freelancer must ensure their pension cover by taking out YEL insurance.

One-stop service for entrepreneurs’ all insurance policies

You can take out the mandatory YEL insurance easily from our partner Ilmarinen. The partnership allows you to easily take care of  insurance matters for the entrepreneur and company all at the same time. Our aim is to offer customers a customer relationship team through which communication is smooth and things are taken care of successfully. This allows our customers to focus on their business. 

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TyEL or statutory employment pension insurance for employees
TyEL insurance is a form of mandatory insurance for entrepreneurs.
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TyEL and YEL insurance is issued by Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company.