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Adjusted adult education allowance

If you are working while studying or you are going on unpaid study leave for an uninterrupted period of less than two months, find out more about the adjusted adult education allowance. An adjusted allowance applied for retrospectively is paid subject to adjustments based on income or in full if there were no earnings during the month. The adjusted allowance is applied for retrospectively each month when the month has ended and you know how much you have earned in the month.

Conditions for eligibility

To receive an adult education allowance, you must have accrued a total employment history of at least eight years before the start date of the allowance. Your employment history can include work subject to the Employees Pensions Act as well as entrepreneurial activity insured in accordance with the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) or the Farmers’ Pensions Act (MYEL). Your employment history will be counted according to the duration of employment and service relationships covered by pension insurance until the end of 2006. From the beginning of 2007, your employment history will be calculated based on your annual earnings for each calendar year.

Insured work or entrepreneurial activity in the EU and EEA and in Switzerland will also be counted in your employment history. Work that you have done in countries in the EU and EEA and in Switzerland can be counted as of 1995 (the year when Finland joined the European Union), and no earlier than the date when the country where you worked joined the European Union.

All of your employment relationships with employers obliged to take out insurance are counted in your employment history. If you would like to check your employment relationships covered by employee pension insurance, you can obtain your pension record from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. You can view your pension record at the Finnish Centre for Pensions by logging in to the online service.

The following are considered equivalent to employment history and therefore contribute to your employment history for a maximum of two years:

  • Time during which you have received maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance or special care allowance
  • Periods of child care leave during an employment or service relationship
  • Military service or civilian service
  • Periods for which you were paid a disability pension, rehabilitation allowance or an occupational injury pension

Any corresponding periods equivalent to working time in EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland can be included when calculating your employment history.

The calculator (in Finnish) enables you to calculate how much employment history you have on the basis of the income you have earned from paid work from 2007 onwards. The calculation is an illustrative estimate that is not binding on the Employment Fund. If the calculator shows that you have slightly more or slightly less than the required eight years, we recommend that you send us an application for a preliminary decision, which will contain a precise calculation of your accrued employment history.

A precondition for receiving the adult education allowance is that the recipient has had a full-time employment or public-service relationship with the employer for at least one year, either uninterrupted or in several periods, before the start date of the allowance period. If your workplace has been acquired by a new owner and you are transferred as an “old employee”, the employment relationship is considered to have remained unchanged.

A full-time employment or public-service relationship is the work for which you have earned the majority of your income and where you have worked for at least 18 hours per week. The employment or public-service relationship must have been covered by pension insurance in Finland for at least one year before the start date of the allowance period.

It is not possible to receive an adult education allowance if you are not in an employment or public-service relationship. Acting as a family caregiver or managing director of a limited liability company or a cooperative are not counted as work done in an employment or publicservice relationship. Unemployed people are also not entitled to an adult education allowance.

If you are in a fixed-term employment relationship, you can receive an adult education allowance for the duration of the term of the employment relationship. If your fixed-term employment ends before the education begins, you will not be entitled to an adult education allowance.

A precondition for receiving an adult education allowance is that you are permanently resident in Finland and you are entitled to Finnish social security. If you move abroad for under a year while you are receiving an allowance, you will generally remain covered by Finnish social security. Even temporary moves abroad should be declared to Kela, which will decide whether you are covered by Finnish social security.

People registered in Åland cannot receive an adult education allowance. Residents of Åland are subject to the province’s own laws on study grants.

In order to be on study leave, you must be in an employment or public-service relationship. Apply for an adjusted allowance if your income is more than EUR 250 per month during your study leave or if you are studying part-time or periodically (with study leave periods lasting less than two months), apply for an adjusted adult education allowance for each calendar month retrospectively. A precondition for an adjusted adult education allowance to be granted is that your studies cause you to be away from work for at least 43 days – at least two months in total. There can be no more than five study leave days per calendar week. A full study leave month is considered to include 21.5 days of study leave. A half day of study leave is counted as one day of study leave. The reason for the absence must be granted due to studies. Other reasons for being absent from work do not entitle the employee to an adult education allowance.

The adjusted adult education allowance is paid in an amount adjusted to your additional income in the month for which you have applied. Additional income is usually taken into consideration in accordance with the earning period, which is to say when the work was done. In addition, some types of income are considered additional income in accordance with the payment period for the purpose of the adult education allowance.

The adult education allowance is paid to compensate you for the loss of income due to studying full-time. If you only have a couple of study leave days in a month, your income may not decrease enough during your studies for any adjusted allowance to be payable after your other income is taken into account. You can estimate the impact of your earnings on the amount of allowance payable using the calculator.

The following types of income are assessed according to the payment date:

  • Additional holiday pay, holiday bonus and holiday compensation
  • Profit-related pay or salary items (performance pay, bonus, commission)
  • Income based on intellectual property rights, such as copyrights and royalties
  • Monetary compensation withdrawn from a working time bank

Income saved in a working time bank is taken into consideration when the income is transferred into the working time bank. If you deposit working time in a working time bank, your income will be taken as the pay corresponding to your working time. Earnings withdrawn from a working time bank are taken into consideration when the corresponding time off is taken. If no time off is taken, the earnings are taken into consideration when they are withdrawn from the working time bank. In these circumstances, it may be possible for the same earnings to be counted twice.

The following are not counted as additional income:

  • Capital income such as rental and interest income
  • Profit-sharing payments
  • Income received from personnel funds
  • Stock options
  • Tax-free scholarships and bursaries
  • Tax refunds
  • Remuneration paid for acting in a position of trust
    (If you act in a position of trust as part of your work, the remuneration you receive for discharging your duties in this position during the allowance period will also be taken into consideration as additional income.

Some statutory benefits are also considered additional income, including home care allowance without municipal supplements, partial care allowance and partial disability pension. You can apply for an allowance in advance even if you are receiving any of the foregoing benefits counted as additional income because the benefit can be taken into consideration directly as additional income. If a benefit that is considered additional income has a gross value of EUR 250 or more each month, you cannot earn any other additional income during the adult education allowance period. If you receive a benefit that is considered additional income as well as other income, apply for an adjusted adult education allowance retrospectively.

As a rule, income earned from business and farming activities is taken into account in the adjustment in accordance with the most recent taxation details delivered. If your earnings from business activities have changed substantially since the last taxation details you have delivered, include a separate clarification of your earnings with your application.

Paid annual holiday

When you agree on your study leave with your employer, find out whether any days of annual holiday that have not yet been taken must be taken during the planned study leave. Annual holiday is not a period of unpaid study leave, so you cannot apply for an adult education allowance for such a period in advance.

The following do not affect the allowance:

  • Survivors’ pension
  • Family care allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Income support
  • General housing allowance
  • Family care grant or adoption allowance
  • Maintenance allowance or child benefit

A precondition for receiving an adult education allowance is that you do not receive other allowances for the same period, such as:

  • Job alternation compensation
  • A study grant from Kela or student housing allowance in accordance with the Act on Student Financial Aid
  • Daily allowances in accordance with the Health Insurance Act
  • Maternity, paternity or parental allowance
  • Rehabilitation allowance for the same education
  • Daily unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy
  • Unemployment benefit for education
  • Full disability pension, rehabilitation allowance, unemployment pension or old-age pension

You can´t receive an adult education allowance while you are completing compulsory military service or civilian service.

A partial disability pension will not prevent the adult education allowance from being granted, and it will be taken into consideration when your earnings are adjusted.

You can receive an adult education allowance for studies at a Finnish educational institution that is subject to public supervision. The studies may include a full or partial degree or qualification from a university, a university of applied sciences or a vocational college, as well as supplementary or refresher vocational education. In addition, you can receive an adult education allowance for non-formal adult education that enhances your vocational expertise and competence in your profession or in your current work.

You can only receive an allowance if you are registered as attending the educational institution or you have an entitlement to study the programme that your application concerns. You can only receive an allowance for the period when your entitlement to study is valid.

Your education must last at least two months or at least 43 days in total.

You must study full-time to be eligible for the allowance, and this also applies to the adjusted adult education allowance. Studying is considered to be full-time when you receive at least 3 credits or competence points or 2 study weeks per month during the allowance period. If the scope of your studies is not defined in terms of study points or weeks, the scope of the studies as defined by the educational institution must average at least 20 hours per week.

You are eligible for an allowance for the following studies:

  • Day or evening programmes
  • Remote studying or multiform learning or an internship included in the studies
  • A thesis, final project, dissertation or other extensive written work
  • Studying abroad if the studies are included in studies completed in Finland, such as going on exchange or completing an internship

Read the specifics on educations that meet the eligibility criteria.

It is possible to receive an allowance for periods of full-time study completed in the summer. If you do not yet know the precise plan for your summer studies when you send your first application, you can apply for an allowance in the summer at a later date by sending a further application. You can apply for an allowance for a paid internship in the form of an adjusted adult education allowance retrospectively each month.

If you apply for an allowance for the summer, you should first check with your employer whether you will receive any holiday bonus even though you are on study leave. Your employer may also require you to take your annual leave during the summer. Therefore, it is possible that the summer will not be entirely unpaid due to your holiday bonus or annual holiday. If you apply for the allowance retrospectively each month, you will be aware of your annual holidays and any holiday bonus that is payable when you submit the application.

Completed studies will be monitored retrospectively each academic year. You may only include the studies recognised during the allowance period or immediately after the end of the allowance period in the completed studies that form the basis of the allowance. Studies recognised before the beginning of the allowance period will not be deemed to have taken place during the allowance period and they cannot be taken into consideration in the monitoring of completed studies. Previous studies or accredited work experience will also not be counted as studies completed during the allowance period even if the completion is recognised on the register of studies during the allowance period.

Amount and taxation

The adult education allowance consists of a basic component and an earnings-related component. In 2019, the basic component is EUR 592.11 per month, which is EUR 27.54 per day. The earnings-related component is 45 per cent of the difference between the daily salary and the basic component. If the monthly pay is more than 105 times the basic component, the earnings-related component is 20 per cent of the daily salary above this threshold. The adult education allowance is a maximum of 90 per cent of the daily salary used as the basis for the allowance and the minimum amount is the basic component.

The spouse’s income and capital income do not affect the amount of or entitlement to an allowance. The number of children does not affect the allowance, and the allowance will not be increased in accordance with the number of children.

The amount of the earnings-related component will remain the same per calendar month throughout the education. The amount will not be recalculated, even if you work in between periods of study leave. The amount of the allowance will only be recalculated when you begin an entirely new programme of education.

When the adjusted adult education allowance is calculated, taxable salaries, other earned income and statutory benefits are taken into consideration as income that affects the amount of the allowance. Earned income from parties other than your own employer will also be taken into consideration.

As a rule, the decisive factor when calculating income is the earning month and not the payment month. If it is normal in your sector for salary payments to include the base salary as well as the supplements for the preceding month, the supplements can be adjusted to correspond to the payment date in accordance with the payment principles.

Examples of the amount of adjusted adult education allowance in 2019 (gross sums):

Salary per month Earnings during the adjustment month Amount of allowance
EUR 1,600 EUR 262.40 EUR 1,003.48
EUR 2,300 EUR 863.12 EUR 823.79
EUR 2,800 EUR 947.96 EUR 970.84
EUR 3,500 EUR 1,750.55 EUR 516.79

Salary used as the basis for the earnings-related component

When calculating the amount of the allowance, the basis for the earnings-related component is the applicant’s average monthly earnings in the employment or service relationship over a total of 12 months. As a rule, the earnings for the 12 months up to the end of the calendar month preceding the month of application are used. For example, if you send your application in February and you are applying for an allowance for January, when you were on study leave, you should declare your earned income over 12 months up until the end of December.

When calculating your average monthly earnings, your salary and other remuneration paid for work will be taken into consideration. This can include various supplements, overtime compensation, taxable fringe benefits and profit-based pay or components of pay.

Holiday pay, holiday bonus and holiday compensation are not considered part of your salary, nor are tax-exempt components of your salary (daily allowances, compensation for expenses). Capital income, profit-sharing items, stock options, income from personnel funds, savings in working time banks and monetary compensation withdrawn from working time banks are also not taken into consideration.

If you have been absent from work during the 12 months preceding your application due to:

  • family leave
  • studying
  • illness
  • unemployment or job alternation leave

These periods will be ignored and your earnings will be taken into consideration for the period preceding the absence. The salary determination period will be extended in such a way that a total of one year’s salaries are taken into consideration. In such situations, your employer should report the salary details on a separate payroll statement.
Part-time portions may also be ignored for the foregoing reasons and the following reasons:

  • Partial child care leave
  • Part-time study leave
  • Partial disability pension
  • Part-time pension
  • Partial daily sickness allowance

If the part-time nature of the work or the absence from work was for reasons other than the foregoing, the period in question will not be ignored when calculating your average monthly earnings.

You may also have had other employment relationships in addition to your full-time employment or service relationship over the 12-month period. The earned income from these employment relationships will also be taken into consideration when calculating your average monthly earnings. You must append payroll certificates to declare your income from other employment relationships for the same period for which your employer has reported the salary for your primary occupation.

A deduction will be applied to the average monthly salary used as a basis for calculating the earnings-related component of the allowance. The deduction corresponds to the employees’ pension and unemployment insurance contributions, as well as the daily allowance payment for health insurance. The deduction was 4.48 % in 2019.

You can use the calculator to calculate the amount of adult education allowance you can receive.

Taxation

The adult education allowance is taxable income subject to a standard withholding tax rate of 20 %.

If you would like to increase or decrease the withholding tax, you can send a new tax card to the Employment Fund for the purpose of benefits, and tax will be withheld at the rate indicated on the tax card. You can order a new tax card on the Tax Administration’s website. When you apply for a new tax card, you will need to know your earnings, taxes and benefits granted to you for the current year. Refer to your adult education allowance decision for information about benefits. The Employment Fund’s name cannot be found in the list of selectable payers, so please choose ‘other Finnish payer’ and enter the name of The Employment Fund as the payer manually.

You can send the tax card to the Employment Fund by encrypted email.

Kela State guarantee for a student loan

As a beneficiary of the allowance, you may be entitled to a State guarantee for a student loan. Kela processes applications for State guarantees and grants such guarantees. To receive a guarantee decision you must apply to a bank for a student loan and agree on the terms of the loan and the repayment schedule with the bank.

Send your guarantee application directly to Kela.

For more information about student loans, visit Kela webpage.

Duration

The maximum duration of the adult education allowance is 15 months (322.5 days of allowance). A full month of allowance is considered to include 21.5 days of allowance. The adjusted allowance is applied for retrospectively each calendar month, which is why one month of adjusted adult education allowance always consumes 21.5 days of allowance, irrespective of the number of days of study leave and the amount of allowance payable.

If you have received an allowance before 2017 and you are applying for an adult education allowance for studies that you began then, you may still be entitled to a longer period of allowance in accordance with your earlier allowance decision. The entitlement to the longer allowance period ends on 31 December 2020.

When you have used all 15 allowance months, you cannot receive an allowance again. After this, you can apply for subsidies from Kela or other bodies.

Applying

Apply for an adjusted adult education allowance retrospectively for each calendar month by using our online service. For example, if you are applying for an allowance for May, we must receive your application no earlier than 1 June. In other words, you can only make an application after the month that your application concerns. Alternatively, you can apply for the allowance by printing the filled out application form, which you then send to us by mail.

The first time you apply for an allowance, append a certificate of your studies. If your studies change, you should also append a certificate of studies to your application. Whenever you apply for an adjusted allowance, make sure that you have appended a payroll calculation showing your earnings for the month that your application concerns. We do not need certificates of employment or pension records for work done in Finland as we receive this information directly from the Finnish Centre for Pensions once your application is pending.
You can apply for a maximum of six months of allowance retrospectively.

If you have worked in countries in the EU or EEA or in Switzerland, you must attach reliable evidence of your work, such as a certificate of employment or a pay slip, to your application. If the certificates are in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English, send a translation along with copies of the certificates.

Work that you have done in countries in the EU and EEA and in Switzerland can be included in your employment history as of 1995 (the year when Finland joined the European Union), and no earlier than the date when the country where you worked joined the European Union.

Decision on adult education allowance

The decision will be visible on the online service where you submitted it. The online service will automatically send you an email when the decision has been made. When the decision has been issued, you will be able to view it by logging in to the online service. The decision will also be sent to you by post.

Adjusted adult education allowance will be paid on the first possible payment date following the decision. The payment date is weekly. The payment date will be stated in the decision letter.

Why is it important to retain the allowance decision?

Keep your adult education allowance decision in a safe place. The final page of the decision is a certificate of your income, and you may need this if you apply for other benefits, such as general housing allowance or day care for your children.

Estimated processing times


Full adult education allowance 22 days

Adjusted adult education allowance 10 days

Entrepreneur's adult education allowance 20 days

Preliminary decisions 4 days

Scholarship for qualified employee 13 days

Updated 11.12.2019.

Target processing times for applications

Target processing times for benefit applications are:

  • Preliminary decision for adult education allowance 10 calendar days
  • Adjusted adult education allowance 15 calendar days
  • Full adult education allowance and entrepreneur’s adult education allowance 25 calendar days

The processing times shown are averages that describe the target processing time for each type of benefit. In individual cases and in congestion situations, the processing time may differ from the above.

Appeals

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can appeal. Send your appeal and justifications to us at the Employment Fund but address it to the Social Security Appeals Board. This will enable us to first review whether the decision can be revised. The appeal must be submitted in writing and it must arrive at the Employment Fund within 30 days of the date when you received the original decision. If we cannot revise the decision, your appeal will be sent to the Social Security Appeals Board along with a statement from us. You will receive a separate notification of this, as well as our statement for your information.

We process appeals in the order we receive them. The processing time is approximately one month. If the decision contained an error that we can correct, you may receive a new decision within a few days.

More detailed instructions for sending an appeal are included with the decision. Send your appeal by encrypted email to: koulutusetuudet@tyollisyysrahasto.fi.

Page updated: 12/8/2019