State pensions

Pension qualifying period is made up of the activities performed throughout your lifetime, such as studying, raising children, working, and serving in the military.

Pension qualifying period is divided into two:

  • years of pensionable service up to 31 December 1998, which is calculated based on the employment record book and documentation
  • accumulation period as of 1 January 1999, which is calculated based on the social tax paid on your behalf.

The pension qualifying period can also consist only of the years of pensionable service or the accumulation period.

State pensions

In the case of old age, incapacity for work or loss of a provider the state shall pay monthly financial social insurance benefit – state pension. This benefit, based on the principle of solidarity, is paid to the permanent residents of Estonia and aliens residing in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permits or temporary right of residence.

Types of state pension:

  • national pension
  • old-age pension, including:
    • early-retirement pension
    • deferred old-age pension
    • old-age pension under favourable conditions
  • pension for incapacity for work
  • survivor’s pension.

In many professions, pension or pension supplement is paid pursuant to specific law.

The national pension and old-age pension comprise the first pillar of the pension system.

To apply for a pension you should contact the Social Insurance Board.

National pension is granted to the persons who have attained 63 years of age and who have not earned a pension qualifying period required for the grant of old-age pension and who have been permanent residents of Estonia or have resided in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit or temporary right of residence for at least five years immediately before making a pension claim. The rate of national pension is 167,40 €. National pension is not paid to persons who receive pension from another state. More about national pension can you read at the web page of Social Insurance Board.

Persons who have attained 63 years of age and whose pension qualifying period earned in Estonia is 15 years have the right to receive old-age pension. More about early-retirement pension, deferred old-age pension and old-age pension under favourable conditions can you read at the web page of Social Insurance Board.

Upon the death of a provider, family members who were maintained by him or her have the right to receive a survivor’s pension. Survivor’s pension shall be granted to the children, parents and the widow or widower irrespective of whether they were maintained by the provider or not. More about survivor’s pension can you read at the web page of Social Insurance Board.

Claiming for tax-free income level of the state pension

Beginning from 1 January 2018 the overall tax-free amount (basic exemption) of 6000 euros per year or 500 euros per month will be applied on all types of income and the increased basic exemption on pension and compensation for accident at work will not be applied in the future. A pensioner employed, who receives a pension and a salary less than 500 euros, is entitled to use the basic exemption at two places and submit an application both to the employer and the Social Insurance Board. It is important to keep in view that a pensioner employed may divide the basic exemption in the amount of 500 euros between the employer and the Social Insurance Board.

Non-resident pension recipient

A receipt of the pension who is a non-resident in Estonia should submit a life certificate (in Estonian) to the Social Insurance Board not later than by 1 March each year. As your address is outside Estonia, you to should submit the life certificate certified by the authority of the state of residence to the Social Insurance Board annually between 1st of December and 1st of March. The authority may be social system authorities, the Pension Board or local government institutions or notary public of your state of residence. The form of this certificate is annexed to this note. Life certificate may be replaced by a certificate concerning residence issued by the tax board of your state of residence.

Please send the certificate to the following address: Sotsiaalkindlustusamet, Endla 8, 15092 Tallinn, ESTONIA

In case of a failure to submit a certificate within the prescribed term, payment of pension shall be suspended as of 1 April. If a certificate is submitted later, payment of pension shall continue retroactively as of suspension of the payment of pension.

If you are a citizen of Estonia or already receive Estonian pension and live in Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova or Ukraine you should not submit this certificate.

Estonia has entered into social insurance agreements with Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Netherlands, Canada and Russia.

Last amended: 09-01-2018 00:00 | Compiled by: Social Insurance Board