Ice Hockey Player Eric Perrin and his family never had Finnish Social Security

Global Mobility Consulting Finland, met the Canadian ice hockey player and his family in Jyväskylä early April 2019. The retired legend is enjoying free time and giving a well deserved rest for the body and mind. Family is staying in Finland, until Alex, 6th grade, school year is over.

Perrin family was one of the first customers of GMCFinland soon two years ago and there is a special tie with this family. At that time TPS requested GMCFinland to take care of the family’s recidence permits. In 2017, after already beeing in Finland for 11 years, the family still didn’t have Finnish Social Security, Kela. Family is leaving the country and still never was part of Kela.

We didn’t know about Kela’s financial support, we only thought that it covers part of the medical expences

Eric and his wife Karen (US citizen) arrived first time in Finland in August 2000, their first child was born in Pori, Finland in September 2001. After the season 2002-2003 Family Perrin travelled back to North America. During the time spent in Finland, no one took care of registering the family correctly in Finland to be able to have Kela allocations for Karen, who was unemployeed and had the right to receive the unemployment money in Finland through Kela. When Alyssa was born, they were really lucky to have a close family friend who took care of all the birth related issues and negotiated to get all medical help with the same rights as people who have the Finnish social security. They didn’t receive the famous Finnish maternity box, nor maternity leave daily allowance, nor Faternity money or days off and Alyssa now beeing soon 18 years old, they never got the child aid per month which is everybody’s right until the child is 18 years old. As Karen was stay a home mother, she also lost the monthly stay a home aid from Kela till they left the country in 2003 April.

Between 2000-2003 the family lost already around 21 500€ brutto. Calculations are done according to Kela’s today’s (05/2019) allocation/aid amounts.

Without Finnish Social Security, it was impossible to have family members insured in Finland

Eric came back to Finland in 2010 October, now a father of two children. Karen stayed at home in States with the children and did not work, which means, that if Eric would have had Finnish social security he could have had the child aid from Kela as his wife was not working, even she stayed in States. The family joined Eric in Finland in September 2013, the children were then 11 and 6 years old. The whole family stayed in Finland until now 05/2019.

During 2010-2019 the lost money from Kela is around 67 000€ including child aid and Karen’s possible unemployment money, not forgetting the chance to have finnish language lessons, integration courses, and all other possibilities what Kela and TE-Palvelut can offer for foreign people looking for a job. The child aid alone for those past nine years would have been around 21 000€.

All in all, if everything would have been done correctly from the beginning, according to the processes, the family would not have lost around 89 000€ Brutto in 13 years, and this does not include all the healthcare expences what they have paid by themselves during all these years without the financial help of Finnish Social Security.

We were lucky that the family never got seriously ill

Mr. And Mrs. Perrin describe the immigration process very complicated. Lot’s of paperwork and so many different applications and different requirements in different covermental offices. In many offices the people does not speak english and there were many communication problems because of the language barriers. There were many documents, that required work already before coming to Finland in a first place. Without the correct documents it was impossible to fulfill all the Finland’s covernmental requirements for immigrants. Eric Perrin had raised his concerns many times to Finnish National Ice Hockey League and the Finnish Ice Hockey Player’s Association, but there has not been any actions. He really hopes that all this would change and that the teams will take the responsibility to take good care of the foreign players and their families in the future.

The best practice would be, of course, to have a relocation company to take care of all the paper work with new players right after signing the contract before leaving their home country. Keeping in mind that the foreign player and their family members would have exactly the same rights in Finland as Finnish players and their families, as that is the right of every tax payer in Finland. It doesn’t excist a one single process for everybody. There are as many processes as there are immigrants, that is why a dedicated people specialized for relocation services are the best to do the job. Then everybody can concentrate on the task they are good at without worrying a thing.

GMCFinland is originally from Rauma, so of course the family got Lukko hoodies as a souvenir from Rauma.

On the other hand, Perrin family are very happy with the life they have spent in Finland. They are going to miss the country, where they have felt like home for so many years, and the people and all the ice hockey fans. Austin, Karen’s 24-year old son did graduate from JAMK in International business and had played Basketball during all the years he spent in Finland 2013-2018, he lives independently now in States. Alyssa, soon 18 years old, did finish the high school in Finland and is now doing her studies through US home schooling system. It’s her second year out of three. Along the school Alyssa is working daily in Jyväskylä’s Ice Hockey Areena’s restaurant Hurrikaani. The youngest Alex is now 12-years old and a passionate ice hockey goalie #20 in Jyväskylä Diskos and he is finishing up his primary school in Finland. 

I believe that whole Finland will going to miss Perrin's warm hearted family, this great ice hockey player who had touched all ice hockey fans hearts and souls in Finland and the easy going friendly style to be with people around them. Safe travels Perrin Family and I am so happy I got to know you, I wish we will meet someday somewhere! Stay in touch!