TN 1 (12-97)
GN 01731.125 Eligibility for Finnish Benefits Under the Agreement
A. Policy - General
The agreement liberalizes the residence requirements that apply to NPS benefits (see GN 01731.020). Under the agreement, U.S. citizens residing in the United States or Finland, and Finnish citizens residing in the United States, may qualify for NPS benefits if they meet the following residence requirements.
|TYPE OF BENEFIT||RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS|
|Old-Age||Must have resided in Finland for a continuous period of 5 years at any time after age 16.|
|Widow(er)||Both the widow(er) and the deceased must have resided in Finland for a continuous period of at least 5 yearsat any time after age 16 and the deceased was a U.S. or Finnish citizen.|
|Orphans||Deceased was a U.S. or Finnish citizen who resided in Finland for a continuous period of at least 5 years at any time after age 16.|
Under Finnish law, a person must reside in Finland to establish entitlement to an NPS disability benefit. Although the agreement does not change this requirement, it does permit a person who becomes entitled and subsequently moves to the United States to continue receiving NPS disability benefits provided he or she resided in Finland for at least 5 continuous years after age 16.
Because a person's right to a benefit under the EPS is immediately vested once the person begins to work in covered employment or self-employment, there is no need for Finland to take U.S. coverage into account in determining EPS benefit eligibility.
However, when determining the amount of an EPS survivor or disability benefit, Finland may count the years between the date of death or disability onset and age 65 (called future years) as actual years of coverage. This will increase the amount of the EPS benefit. To receive credit for future years, the worker must have resided in Finland for at least 5 years. In addition, the death or disability must have occurred at the time the worker was engaged in a covered work activity or within one year thereafter.
Under the agreement, Finland will count U.S. coverage to meet the Finnish residence and coverage requirements for granting future years when determining the amount of an EPS survivors or disability benefit.
B. Policy - Crediting U.S. Coverage
Under the agreement, Finland will count each U.S. quarter of coverage as 3 months of EPS coverage. However, Finland will not count:
any U.S. quarters earned before 1961 (the year the EPS began), or
any months in a quarter which are already months of EPS coverage.
Finnish benefit eligibility requirements, GN 01731.020
Application for benefits under the Finnish agreement, GN 01731.215