Bureaucracy at its best

I recently got a note from the Finnish Eläketurvakeskus, which deals with pensions and entrepreneurial benefits in Finland. They were happy to inform me that I am in fact entitled to Finnish pension benefits, regardless of my 4-year sojourn in Sweden. The only interesting thing about this announcement is the fact that it took them 5 months to come up with the answer.

When moving to Finland in October last year, I promptly filed all the papers to the correct places and soon got a note saying my benefits would be looked over. According to the brochure, anyone who is a permanent resident in Finland, needs to pay taxes in Finland and will thereby be entitled to the appropriate forms of benefits. This sounded straightforward enough, so I expected a quick resolution.

However, for some inexplicable reason, it took Eläketurvakeskus 5 months to come up with the same answer. Meanwhile, my children were waiting for their childcare allowances and – should we have fallen ill – we would have had to pay full medical expenses, since our case was still open. Now we’re fortunate enough not to be dependant on these benefits, but what if that hadn’t been the case?

And mind you – upon enquiry I was told that the problem was not that they would have been overloaded with work. It was the specific nature of my (allegedly complicated) case that was creating the delay…

Yet I had no trouble deducting the same result from simply reading the brochure. But perhaps I’m just exceptionally gifted intellectually – compared to the clerks at Eläketurvakeskus.  Should I just suggest they’d hire me instead? They could speed up handling times exponentially :-).

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