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Full adult education allowance


If you are going on unpaid study leave for an uninterrupted period of at least two months, you may be entitled to a full adult education allowance. While you are receiving a full adult education allowance, your income can be no more than EUR 250 per 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.

Work or entrepreneurial activity covered by pension insurance 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. Work that you have done in countries in the EU and EEA and in Switzerland will be counted according to the duration of your employment.

Your employment relationships with employers obliged to take out employees’ pension 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 public-service 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 prerequisite 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.

A prerequisite for receiving an allowance is that you are off work for an uninterrupted period of at least two months on unpaid study leave or a different corresponding period of unpaid leave agreed on the basis of education. In order to be on study leave, you must be in an employment or public-service relationship. You cannot receive an adult education allowance if you are on child care leave, you are temporarily laid off or you are on a leave of absence for personal reasons.

As such, the absence from work must be based on studying and it must last for an uninterrupted period of at least two months in order for you to be able to apply for an allowance in advance. An example of an uninterrupted period of two months is 4 October to 3 December or 1 March to 30 April. An eight-week period is not sufficient.

If your study leave lasts for an uninterrupted period of less than two months, find out more about the adjusted adult education allowance. Study leave is provided for by the Study Leave Act (273/1979) and the Government Decree on Study Leave (864/1979).

The additional income limit for receiving a full adult education allowance is EUR 250 per month gross. The additional income limit is specific to each month and applies to the period when you receive the adult education allowance, i.e., the work done while you are receiving an adult education allowance. You are obliged to inform us if you surpass or are likely to surpass the additional income limit while you are receiving an allowance. Even if you earn nothing during one month, you cannot earn more than EUR 250 in any other month. There are no income limits for periods when you are not receiving an allowance, so you are free to earn more. If you receive additional income from paid employment or entrepreneurial activity during your study leave or if you receive social benefits affecting the amount of the allowance and the amount surpasses the limit for additional income, you should find out about the adjusted adult education allowance.

For example, 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

Example: An adult education allowance was granted for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2019. In February, you work and receive EUR 220. In conjunction with the work, you are paid a holiday bonus of EUR 160. Because the holiday bonus is considered additional income in accordance with the payment date, the additional income limit for the adult education allowance will be surpassed as your earnings total EUR 380. In such a situation, you should contact us immediately.

Paid annual holiday

The pay you receive during your annual holiday will be taken into consideration in the same way as for normal earned income. Annual holiday is not a period of unpaid study leave, so you cannot apply for adult education allowance for such period in advance. You can apply for an adjusted adult education allowance for the period of your annual holiday. You have a summer break from your studies state it on your application in the designated spot. Receiving the allowance is not possible during a summer study break, but the allowance can be granted in advance if the unpaid study leave lasts at least 2 months both before and after the annual holiday.

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

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.

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
  • 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 cannot receive an allowance while you are completing compulsory military service or civilian service.

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 skills and competence in your profession or in your current work.

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

You must study full-time during the allowance period, so your studies must encompass at least three credits or competence points or two study weeks per month. If the scope of your studies is not defined in terms of credits or study 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.

Amount and taxation

The employee’s 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.

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

Salary per month Allowance per month
EUR 1,600 EUR 1,013.40
EUR 1,800 EUR 1,099.37
EUR 2,000 EUR 1,185.34
EUR 2,300 EUR 1,314.29
EUR 2,500 EUR 1,400.26
EUR 2,800 EUR 1,529.21
EUR 3,000 EUR 1,615.18
EUR 3,500 EUR 1,717.23
EUR 4,000 EUR 1,812.75
EUR 4,500 EUR 1,908.27


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 allowance 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.

Salary used as the basis for the earnings-related component

The amount of the earnings-related component is calculated using the established earnings for the employment, public-service or other service relationship over a total period of 12 months. In principle, the earnings from the end of the calendar month preceding the month of application are used. For example, if you send your application in February, you should declare your earned income for the 12 months up until the end of January. The adult education allowance application includes a section for the employer to complete, where your employer will declare the payroll information required to calculate the allowance.

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 adult education 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 can 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.

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.

Periods of adult education allowance that were previously granted will be deducted from the maximum duration of the allowance.
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

When you have been admitted to an educational institution and your employer has granted you at least two months of uninterrupted study leave, you can apply for a full adult education allowance on our online service. You can monitor the status of applications sent electronically using our online service and you will also receive decision letters electronically once your application has been processed.
If you are applying for an allowance for the first time or for a new educational programme, append a certificate of studies to your application.

Alternatively, you can apply for the allowance by printing the filled out application form, which you then send to us by mail.

You do not need to append certificates of employment or statements of your employment pension for work you have done in Finland. We will receive this information directly from the Finnish Centre for Pensions once your application is pending.

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.

The decision will show the dates when the allowance will be paid and the amount of allowance paid monthly. Allowances granted in advance are paid on the last banking day of each month.

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.

You can also check the following information on the decision:

  • The months the allowance was granted for and when the payments will be made.
  • Your additional income limit for each month. Note that the additional income limit will be lower in incomplete allowance months than in complete allowance months, but it only applies to the days for which the allowance was granted.
  • The changes that affect the allowance and that you are obliged to report to the Employment Fund.
  • The summer holiday period for which no allowance has been granted.
Estimated processing times


Full adult education allowance 21 days

Adjusted adult education allowance 6 days

Entrepreneur's adult education allowance 17 days

Preliminary decisions 6 days

Scholarship for qualified employee 6 days

Updated 22.10.2019.

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