Exceptions for persons aged 55 and over
Certain derogations apply to persons aged 55 years or older that are designed to support their livelihoods and employment. The exceptions concern, for example, the maximum period and recalculation of the earnings-related unemployment allowance and the restructuring protection allowance.
Restructuring protection package for persons aged 55 and over
The new restructuring protection package for those aged 55 and over has become available on 1 January 2023.
The restructuring protection package includes
- a restructuring protection allowance corresponding to one month’s salary,
- restructuring protection training for a period of up to six months, corresponding in value to a maximum of two months’ salary, and
- five extra days of re-employment leave for those whose notice period is longer than one month.
You qualify for a restructuring protection allowance if
- your contract is terminated on financial or production-related grounds on or after 1 January 2023,
- you have reached the age of 55 before your termination,
- you have been employed by the same employer for at least five years before your termination, and
- you sign up as a job-seeker with the TE Office no later than 60 days after your termination.
More information about the restructuring protection package can be found under Restructuring protection allowance
Maximum period of the earnings-related unemployment allowance
The earnings-related allowance is usually paid for a maximum of 300 or 400 days. If you reached the age of 58 years before becoming unemployed and have worked for at least five years in the last 20 years, you can receive an earnings-related allowance for a maximum period of 500 days.
Additional days at the end of the maximum period
When your maximum earnings-related allowance period is up, you may qualify for so-called ‘additional days’ until you reach the age of 65 years if
- you were born in 1955 or 1956 and turn 60 before your maximum earnings-related allowance period runs out, or
- you were born between 1957 and 1960 and turn 61 before your maximum earnings-related allowance period runs out, or
- you were born in or after 1961 and turn 62 before your maximum earnings-related allowance period runs out.
You also must have worked for at least five years in the last 20 years.
You can continue to receive an earnings-related allowance based on the additional days system until you qualify for an old-age pension or until the end of the calendar month in which you reach the age of 65 years.
You do not need to apply for your additional days separately. Just submit your earnings-related allowance application to your unemployment fund as normal. We will check whether you are entitled to additional days when we process your application. We will not issue a separate decision on your entitlement to additional days.
Working during additional days
If you work while you are on additional days and satisfy the employment requirement, please bear in mind that
- your maximum period will not reset,
- the amount of your earnings-related unemployment allowance will not be recalculated, and
- you will not be subject to a new personal liability period.
Additional days are being phased out from 1 January 2023
After the amendment to law enters into force on 1 January 2023, the additional days system will be phased out so that for persons born between 1963 and 1964, the age limit for additional days will be increased by one year. The right to additional days is completely removed for those born in 1965 and after.
The reform will therefore affect eligibility for earnings-related allowance in 2025, when those born in 1963 reach the current age limit of 62 years for additional days. Paying for additional days will end altogether in 2030. The change does not affect the additional days already granted.
‘Employment obligation’ refers to a statutory obligation of local authorities to offer, under certain conditions, work to unemployed job-seekers aged between 57 and 60 years who have used up their maximum unemployment allowance period. The TE Office notifies job-seekers individually if they qualify.
If you have worked on subsidised pay, 75% of that work can be taken into account in the calculation of the employment requirement. In order to satisfy the 26-week employment requirement, you therefore need to have worked on subsidised pay for at least 35 weeks. If you were provided subsidised work on the basis of the obligation to employ elderly people, 100% of your subsidised work counts towards the employment requirement.
Persons aged 57 years and above
We will not adjust the wage based on which your earnings-related allowance is calculated if you satisfy the employment requirement fully or partially through work provided under the employment obligation, except where your new wage is higher.
Persons aged 60 years and above
For persons aged 60 years and over, the employment obligation can also be satisfied by offering a ‘service that promotes employment’. These services can, exceptionally, count towards satisfying the employment requirement. We will not adjust the wage based on which your earnings-related allowance is calculated if you satisfy the employment requirement at least partially through services that promote employment. Reaching the end of your maximum earnings-related allowance period does not prevent the continued payment of your allowance while you are enrolled in a service that promotes employment.
You can get more information about the employment obligation from the TE Office
Recalculation of earnings-related allowances of persons aged 58 years and above
If you are at least 58 years of age and satisfy the employment requirement, we will not adjust the wage based on which your daily allowance is calculated, except where your new wage is higher.
This rule only applies if
- you resatisfy the employment requirement,
- you are at least 58 years old when you satisfy the employment requirement, and
- you have previously been paid an earnings-related allowance for at least one day.
However, if your previous earnings-related unemployment allowance period has started within one year, your earnings-related unemployment allowance will not be recalculated if the amount of your allowance was calculated the last time you satisfied the employment requirement.
Retirement through additional days
You can switch from additional days to an old-age pension without incurring an early-retirement penalty. You receive more information about the old-age pension from your pension company or Kela.
You can choose whether you want to retire on an old-age pension as soon as age allows or later. You also always have the option to choose not to retire on an old-age pension but to continue to claim unemployment benefits. We can pay you an earnings-related allowance up to the end of the month in which you turn 65.
You can ask us for a certificate of the additional days of earnings-related allowance that we have paid to you.
Partial early old-age pension
Receiving a partial early old-age pension does not affect the amount of your earnings-related unemployment allowance. Nevertheless, please always mention in your earnings-related allowance application if you are receiving or have applied for a pension or any other social benefit.
Unemployment security for persons aged 65 to 68 years
As a rule, an earnings-related unemployment allowance can be paid until the end of the calendar month in which you turn 65. After this, an earnings-related unemployment allowance can only be paid up to the age of 68 in a few special circumstances. Such circumstances include
- a lay-off or circumstances comparable to a lay-off,
- adverse weather conditions, and
- interruption of work due to industrial action that does not affect your own terms of employment or working conditions.
Please note that claiming an old-age pension prevents the payment of an earnings-related unemployment allowance. If you are on an old-age pension, we cannot pay you an earnings-related allowance in the aforementioned circumstances either.