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Receiving pension from a foreign state and payment of pension to a foreign state

If you have earned at least one year of pension qualifying period in another state, you have the right to apply for a pension there. You can do this through us if you worked in an EEA State, Switzerland or a state with which Estonia has signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on social security. 
Otherwise you must contact the pension authority of the other state directly.

If while receiving your pension you relocate to another EEA State or Switzerland, we will pay you your pension earned in Estonia as usual. You also have the right to keep receiving your pension in partner countries. The state of Estonia pays a pension to persons of pensionable age residing elsewhere in the world if they have earned at least 15 years of pension qualifying period in Estonia.

 

Applying for pension from a foreign state

You can apply for a pension from a foreign state through the Estonian Social Insurance Board if you have earned at least one year of pension qualifying period in a European Union Member State, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. The same applies to countries with which Estonia has signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on social security (so-called partner countries). 
To apply for a pension from other countries you must contact the competent authority of the relevant country directly.

Please note that the pensionable age and the terms and conditions of receiving pension differ by countries. So you need not apply for a pension from another country at the same time as the Estonian old-age pension. Every country decides for themselves on which grounds and how pensions are paid. Pensions are granted and paid according to the legislation applicable in your country/countries of employment.

In order to receive a pension from another state please submit to us a pension application and attach documents proving your pension qualifying period in the other state. Data exchange between countries can be time consuming at times and so we urge you to submit your application in good time before retiring.
Read more about applying for pension.

 

Partner countries

Estonia has signed bilateral cooperation agreements on social security with:

Australia Moldova The Russian
Federation
(PDF)
Canada Ukraine

An agreement with
Belarus (100.98 KB, PDF) is in the p
rocess of being signed

Under a bilateral cooperation agreement on social security a person residing in Estonia can apply for a pension from these countries for periods worked there. It is important for the time worked in such a country to be at least one calendar year long.

  • When applying for a pension from another country you must file an application and attach documents which prove that you have worked in the other country. Read more about applying for pension.
  • All cooperation agreements are available under Legislation.

 

 

Applying for Estonian pension while residing in a foreign state

If you reside in a European Union Member State, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland or a state which has signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on social security with Estonia, then in order to apply for a pension from Estonia:
 

  • Contact the social security authority of your country of residence;
  • Present to them the documents necessary for applying for a pension from Estonia.


The competent authority of your country of residence will forward your pension application to us.
 

If you reside in another country, please note that in order to receive an Estonian pension you must have earned at least 15 years of pension qualifying period in Estonia. Please contact the Estonian Social Insurance Board directly to apply for an Estonian pension. Read more about applying for pension.

Payment of Estonian pension to foreign states

If you reside in a European Union Member State, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Canada or Australia,

 

we usually pay your Estonian pension once a month on the 5th day of each month for the current month.
At your request we can also pay the pension once a quarter or once every six months.
 

If you reside in Moldova, Ukraine or the Russian Federation,

 

your Estonian pension is paid through the competent authorities of the relevant country once a quarter. If you relocate to one of those countries and want your Estonian pension payments to continue, you must contact the competent authority of your country of residence which will arrange for the necessary documents and send them to us.

If you relocate elsewhere,

 

 

we will keep paying your pension if you have earned at least 15 years of pension qualifying period in Estonia.

 

Let us know that you have relocated to another country and submit an application (PDF) for continued payments of Estonian pension:

If you want us to transfer your pension to a bank account in a foreign bank, the service fee charged by the local bank shall be covered by you.

 

Taxation of Pensions if You Live Abroad

Rules for imposing income tax are different for residing in Estonia and for residing outside of Estonia. For example, Estonian income tax incentives do not apply to people residing outside of Estonia.

Income tax (20%) is imposed on the pensions of everyone whose place of residence is not in Estonia.

By way of an exception your Estonian pension is not subject to income tax in Estonia if you reside in one of the following countries:

Austria

Latvia

Germany

Spain

Moldova

Slovakia

Croatia

Norway

Slovenia

Ireland

Poland

Great Britain

Italy

Portugal

Switzerland

Greece

France

Czech Republic

Lithuania

Romania

Ukraine

If you reside in one of those countries, you are required to submit once a year a certificate of residence for tax purposes issued by the Tax Board of your country of residence. If you hold a valid certificate of residence for tax purposes, we will pay your Estonian pension in full and it is subject to tax in your country of residence. If you do not have a certificate of residence for tax purposes or it has expired, your pension is subject to 20% income tax in Estonia.

Additional info

 

Proof of Life

If you reside outside of Estonia and receive your pension (old-age pension, survivor’s pension or pension for incapacity for work) from Estonia, you are required to prove that you are alive by 1 March each year

To prove that you are alive please submit a life certificate (PDF) certified by the competent authority in your country of residence. The competent authority is any authority where a person is identified when they go to an appointment (authority paying pensions, local authority, the police, embassy, notary public and so on).

The life certificate form is available on the website: Pension forms --> For pensioners residing abroad – Life certificate).

N.B. If you have already presented to us your certificate of residence from another country, you need not additionally submit a life certificate. The certificate of residence is also valid for one year and you must submit it again each year.


The certificate can be submitted to us:

N.B. Your life certificate must definitely be signed by the competent authority; your own signature on the life certificate is not enough. You yourself can prove that you are alive only by personally going to the Social Insurance Board with your identity document! In that case you need not present your certificate of life. You can go to the Social Insurance Board’s customer service office of your choice.

If you fail to present your certificate of life by the due date, we suspend the payment of your pension as of 1 April. Suspended payments of pension can be resumed at any given time once you present your certificate of life. We will resume the payment of pension when we have received the certificate. In case of belated submission of the certificate we will resume the payment of pension retroactively as of the time the payment of pension was suspended.

Additional info

 

By way of an exception

pensioners residing in Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine need not present proof of life. We get that information from these countries through automatic data exchange on the basis of agreements with those countries. Data exchange with the competent authorities in Latvia and Lithuania takes place each month.