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What is Mela?

Mela is the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Maatalousyrittäjien eläkelaitos in Finnish). We provide comprehensive pension cover and social security to farmers, reindeer herders, fishermen, forest owners and recipients of scientific or artistic grants and scholarships.

Mela´s mission

Mela´s mission is to improve the wellbeing of farmers and recipients of grants and scholarships throughout all stages of life. Mela offers comprehensive statutory social security and services competently and with a customer-oriented approach.

More than just a social insurance institution

We secure the everyday lives of our customers in all of life’s situations. In addition to providing pension insurance, we provide our customers with the following:

  • Statutory occupational accident insurance
  • Leisure-time accident insurance
  • Mela sickness allowance
  • Occupational rehabilitation
  • Group life insurance
  • Farm closure support for farmers and reindeer herders

In addition, we administer the farmers’ holiday and stand-in scheme, and we also provide advisory services related to occupational safety and wellbeing at work.

All of this put together is what we call Mela security.

Pension insurance for farmers and recipients of grants and scholarships is a legal obligation

In accordance with the Farmers’ Pension Act (MYEL), farmers, reindeer herders, fishermen and forest owners, as well as their families, are covered by MYEL pension insurance. Recipients of scientific or artistic grants and scholarships are covered by MYEL pension insurance.

MYEL pension insurance is a legal obligation, and the pension cover corresponds to that of other pension systems. Pension is also accrued in the same way as with other pension systems. If the insured person is also self-employed or in paid employment, MYEL pension insurance complements his or her overall pension cover.

MYEL pension insurance

MYEL pension insurance is compulsory for most rural entrepreneurs. If an entrepreneur is not covered by compulsory MYEL pension insurance, the insurance can be taken voluntarily.

MYEL pension insurance is compulsory for the following rural entrepreneurs:

  • Self-employed entrepreneurs in agriculture and forestry, as well as paid family members taking part in the work
  • Professional fishermen and family members taking part in the work
  • Reindeer herders and family members involved in reindeer husbandry
  • Pensioners who continue working as agricultural entrepreneurs

MYEL pension insurance for grant and scholarship recipients

MYEL pension insurance is compulsory for the following grant and scholarship recipients:

  • Those who are covered by Finnish social security
  • Those who have been awarded a working grant amounting to at least 1 502 euros (as of 2024) intended for artistic or scientific work in Finland lasting at least four months

MYEL pension insurance is compulsory for both individual grant recipients and members of a working group funded by a grant.

Grant recipients under the age of 18 and over the age of 68 are not eligible for MYEL pension insurance. In addition, recipients of grants or scholarships intended for basic degree studies, as well as grants intended to cover expenses alone (such as travel grants), are not required to take out MYEL pension insurance.

Mela – A family-friendly workplace

At Mela, balancing work and family life to the best of our abilities is an extremely important guiding principle. We aim to support the compatibility of work and family life in all different life situations, as well as to promote a family-friendly attitude within the workplace. The practical implementation of our family-friendly policy is supported by enabling part-time work and remote work, for example. By working together, we help ensure that this family-friendly approach is both seen and heard within our workplace.

The core messages of our family-friendly policy are as follows:

  • A family-friendly workplace helps us achieve our targets and enhances the work motivation of our employees.
  • Good managers pay attention to the different life situation of their individual team members by being flexible and following our guidelines.
  • A family-friendly attitude matters! Our entire organisation is committed to adhering to the guidelines of the “Family-friendly workplace” programme of Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland, in our everyday activities.

Mela is participating in the “Family-friendly workplace” programme of Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland.


Mela’s international cooperation

Mela is a member of the international social security cooperation networks ISSA and ENASP.

International Social Security Association ISSA

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) is the global federation of social security institutions, representing over 320 organisations from 160 countries. Mela is an active member of the International Section of the ISSA on Prevention in Agriculture. The objective of this section is to encourage the prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases in agriculture, forestry and horticulture, as well as to promote the health and wellbeing of those working in these sectors. The organisation facilitates the sharing of research and good practice, as well as organising seminars.

ENASP (European Network for Agricultural Social Protection Systems)

ENASP is a network of agricultural social security institutions engaged in cooperative activities. Furthermore, the network comprises Mela, in addition to KRUS (Poland), MSA (France), SVLFG (Germany) and SVS (Austria). Members provide farmers with a comprehensive range of statutory social security benefits, including pension and accident insurance, measures to prevent accidents at work and occupational diseases, and various services. The social benefits and services available to those working in agriculture are designed to meet their specific needs.

Members of the ENASP meet on a regular basis to share best practices in the field of social protection and to promote safety and wellbeing at work. ENASP is engaged in various working groups at EU level, where it raises issues related to social security for farmers in the policy debate on the agricultural population. Topical issues include the digitalisation of social security implementation and the impact of climate change on farmers’ social security needs.

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