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Mela – 10 years of pension security for grant and scholarship recipients

Mela has insured grant and scholarship recipients for ten years already. Legislation covering social security for grant and scholarship recipients entered into force on 1 January 2009, when pensions began to accrue also for grant and scholarship work. Before 2009, most people working on artistic and scientific grants or scholarships were excluded from earnings-related social security for this work.

Today, recipients of artistic and scientific grants or scholarships receive comprehensive old-age and accident insurance from Mela while working on their grants or scholarships. Based on the Farmers’ Pensions Act (“Maatalousyrittäjän eläkelaki” in Finnish), MYEL pension insurance also provides grant and scholarship recipients with earnings-related sickness allowances in accordance with the Health Insurance Act, as well as rehabilitation allowances from the Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

20,000 insured grant and scholarship recipients

Over the past ten years, Mela has insured approximately 20,000 grant and scholarship recipients over a total of 45,000 grant and scholarship periods. Of these recipients, 70 percent have been working on scientific grants or scholarships and 30 percent on artistic grants or scholarships. Female recipients represent more than half the total number.

The average insurance period has been approximately ten months, but some recipients have been accruing MYEL pension security throughout the entire ten-year period by working on multiple consecutive grants or scholarships.

In 2018, Mela paid grant and scholarship recipients:

  • 272,000 euros in earnings-related pensions
  • 23,000 euros in group life insurance compensation
  • 30,000 euros in occupational accident compensation
  • 45,000 euros in Mela sickness allowances.

Social security for grant and scholarship recipients is based on MYEL insurance

Mela provides grant and scholarship recipients with security against old age, sickness and work disability. MYEL insurance entitles grant and scholarship recipients to old-age pensions, work pension rehabilitation and disability pensions. The insurance also includes MATA occupational accident and disease insurance, which covers the costs of treating occupational accidents and diseases, as well as the right to receive short-term Mela sickness allowances.

In the event of death, family members of the grant or scholarship recipients are also entitled to a family (survivors’) pension and group life insurance compensation based on MYEL insurance.

Mela insures grants and scholarships awarded in Finland for scientific or artistic work. MYEL pension insurance is compulsory for grant and scholarship recipients if the grant or scholarship has been awarded for work lasting at least four months and amounts to at least 3,900 euros (as of 2019).

The insurance obligation applies to all grant and scholarship recipients between the ages of 18 and 68 who are covered by the Finnish social security system but do not yet receive an old-age pension. Grant and scholarship recipients are themselves responsible for taking out insurance.

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