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Conditions for eligibility for employees’ adult education allowance

Adult education allowance may be granted for self-motivated studies. We may grant the allowance to adult students who are employed in an employment or public service relationship or as an entrepreneur.

The conditions for eligibility listed below apply to employees’ adult education allowance.

If you are an entrepreneur, please see the instructions for entrepreneurs’ adult education allowance.

You are eligible for employees’ adult education allowance if you are currently in an employment or public service relationship and:

You can use the Employment history calculator for adult education allowance to check how long you have been working since 2007.

Your employment history includes all employment and public service relationships in Finland for which you have been covered by employee pension insurance, as well as entrepreneurial activity insured in accordance with the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) or the Farmers’ Pensions Act (MYEL).

  • To see which of your employment relationships have been covered by employee pension insurance, check your pension record. Your pension record can be found in the Finnish Centre for Pensions online service.

The following are counted toward your employment history from a period of up to two years

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

Work or entrepreneurial activity covered by pension insurance in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, as well as the activities considered equivalent to employment listed above, are also counted towards your employment history.

Read more about how your employment history is calculated.

When you apply for adult education allowance, you must be employed full-time in an employment or public service relationship covered by pension insurance in Finland. The employment relationship must have lasted at least one year before the start of the allowance period. The year may be uninterrupted or consist of several shorter periods of employment.

  • Your employment or public service relationship is considered full time if
    • You work at least 18 hours per week and
    • You have received most of your income from the employment
  • 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.

It is not possible to receive an adult education allowance if you are not in an employment or public service relationship. In other words, you are not eligible for adult education allowance if you are unemployed.

Please note that acting as a family caregiver or the managing director of a limited liability company or a cooperative are not counted as work done in an employment or public service relationship.

We require that you leave your work on part-time or unpaid study leave or some other similar form of leave due to your studies.

You cannot receive adult education allowance during a child care leave or period of lay-off.

Study leave is governed by the Study Leave Act (273/1979) (in Finnish) and the Government Decree on Study Leave (864/1979) (in Finnish).

In order to receive adult education allowance, you must permanently reside in Finland and be 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. For detailed information on whether you are covered by Finnish social security when moving abroad, see the Kela website.

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

Adult education allowance may be granted for studies which

  • Are organised by an education institution, such as vocational college, university of applied sciences or university, operating in Finland and subject to public supervision, and
  • Result in a degree or parts of a degree or are a form of vocational supplementary or refresher education

In addition, you can receive an adult education allowance for non-formal adult education that enhances your vocational expertise and competence. Non-formal adult education institutions include adult education centres, folk high schools, summer universities, sports education centres and study centres.

Adult education allowance may be granted only for the period for which your right to study is valid and during which you complete your studies.

Read more about studies entitled to adult education allowance.

You cannot receive adult education allowance for a period of time during which you receive other forms of support, including:

  • 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
  • Special, maternity, paternity or parental daily allowance or partial parental allowance
  • Special care allowance or special maternity allowance
  • Rehabilitation allowance for the same education
  • Daily unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy
  • Unemployment benefit for education
  • Full disability pension or rehabilitation allowance
  • Unemployment pension or old-age pension
  • Farmers' early retirement aid
  • Full rehabilitation allowance on the basis of the Workers’ Compensation Act or the Farmers’ Occupational Accident and Occupational Disease Act
  • Full compensation for loss of earnings on the basis of the Act on Rehabilitation Subject to Compensation on the Basis of the Motor Liability Insurance Act or the provisions of the Military Injuries Act concerning rehabilitation
  • Years-of-service pension
  • Guaranteed pension

You also cannot receive adult education allowance while you are completing compulsory military service or civilian service.

Employment history

To receive adult education allowance, you must have a total employment history of at least eight years before the start date of the allowance. Your employment history does not need to be uninterrupted or with the same employer.

Your employment history includes:

  • 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) in Finland, an EU or EEA country or Switzerland.
    • 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.
  • The following are considered equivalent to employment history (up to 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 public 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 employment in EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland may also be counted towards your employment history.

Calculating employment history:

Employment and public service relationships covered by pension insurance and entrepreneurial activities (YEL and MYEL insurance) before the end of 2006 are counted towards your employment history based on their duration.

Example: You have been in an employment relationship covered by pension insurance from 1 June 2001 until 31 August 2003. The employment accrues your employment history by 2 years and 3 months.

Starting in 2007, your employment history is calculated based on your annual earnings for each calendar year. Accrued employment history months are calculated by dividing your earnings for the calendar year by the annual earnings divisor. The value of the divisor is adjusted yearly. For entrepreneurial activities, your employment history is calculated based on your YEL or MYEL insured earned income (earned income divided by the annual earnings divisor).

Annual earnings divisors by year:

2007 940 € 2014 1,154 €
2008 961 € 2015 1,165 €
2009 1,019 € 2016 1,174 €
2010 1,052 € 2017 1,188 €
2011 1,071 € 2018 1,190 €
2012 1,103 € 2019 1,212 €
2013 1,134 € 2020 1,236 €
    2021 1,252€


Example: In 2009, your total earned income was 8,500 euros. Your employment history for 2009 is 8 months (8,500 / 1,019 = 8.34).

The maximum months of employment history per year is 12 months. In the year of applying, employment history is accrued only up until the first day of receiving the allowance.

You can use the Employment history calculator for adult education allowance to check how long you have been working since 2007. To use the calculator, you will need your pension record. The record can be in found in the Finnish Centre for Pensions online service.

When processing applications for adult education allowance, we receive the necessary information to calculate your employment history from the records of the Finnish Centre for Pensions. If your employment history includes periods worked in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you must include employment certificates and pay slips for these in your application.

Eligible studies

The allowance is granted for studies at an educational institution operating in Finland and subject to public supervision. You can receive adult education allowance while completing studies for a full or partial degree or qualification from a university, university of applied sciences or a vocational college, as well as for supplementary or refresher vocational education, for example.

The forms of education covered by the adult education allowance are:

  • Education leading to the completion of all or part of a vocational upper secondary qualification, further vocational qualification and specialist vocational qualification, as well as other vocational education and training completed at vocational colleges
  • Education leading to a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a university of applied sciences
  • Education leading to a bachelor’s, master’s, licentiate or doctoral degree from a university
  • Completing parts of a degree at a university or university of applied sciences, such as basic, intermediate and advanced studies, as well as path studies at an open university or a vocational college
  • Specialisation education completed at a university or university of applied sciences or other supplementary or refresher vocational education
  • Supplementary or refresher vocational education completed at an open university or university of applied sciences
  • Non-formal adult education that enhances the person’s vocational expertise and competence and that is arranged at folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports education centres
  • Military, police or emergency services education or other vocational education if the party arranging the education has been granted an operating permit by the relevant administrative authorising body
  • Education referred to in the Basic Education Act and the Act on General Upper Secondary Education if lack of education hinders professional development

Education that is not subject to public supervision is not covered by the allowance.

Studies abroad

Studies at educational institutions in foreign countries are not covered by the adult education allowance. However, you may receive an allowance if you are registered at a Finnish educational institution and the studies abroad are accredited as part of the degree or training at the educational institution. An allowance can be granted for postgraduate scientific studies at a foreign educational institution if you are registered as a postgraduate student at a Finnish university and the studies abroad are related to your postgraduate studies. Studies abroad must also be publicly supervised.

Evaluating the vocational nature of studies

A prerequisite for an adult education allowance to be granted is that the studies are vocational in nature. Such studies include supplementary or refresher vocational education at universities and universities of applied sciences, individual study units completed at open universities, and vocational studies not leading to a degree or qualification or a part of one. Non-formal adult education arranged at folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports education centres is also required to be vocational in nature.

For these types of education, the vocational nature of studies is evaluated in relation to your current job and your previous educational background. When applying for the allowance for vocational supplementary or refresher education, describe in your application how the studies you plan to complete enhance your vocational competence. You can also append a statement from your employer regarding the vocational nature of the studies. Allowances cannot be paid for general education or education as a hobby or with no fixed targets.

Following up on studies

We will monitor how you complete your studies via your educational institution retrospectively every academic year. If no studies have been completed or very little has been completed, we will ask you for an explanation. Any allowance that has been paid without grounds will be recovered.

If the completed studies relating to your final project have not yet been registered when the monitoring phase takes place, be prepared to provide the Employment Fund with an explanation of the progress of your work during the allowance period if we so request. The explanation may be a statement from your thesis supervisor.

Page updated: 10/9/2020