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Discharging the office of President - The President of the Republic of Finland: Position and Duties: Discharge of the Office

The President of the Republic of Finland
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Discharging the office of President

The President is available for performing official duties at all times. There are no specified working hours or annual leave.

Helanderin veljesten valama kello vuodelta 1859 mittaa aikaa presidentin työhuoneessa. Copyright © Tasavallan presidentin kansliaIncapacity and substitution

If the President is unable to perform official duties, these will be taken over by the Prime Minister or, if the Prime Minister also is unavailable, the minister who is the Deputy Prime Minister.

The longest periods of substitution to date have been due to illness (1927, 1940, 1945–1946 and 1981–1982). Before 1991, most substitutions were effected because it was considered that the President was unavailable to perform his duties if he was travelling abroad. This practice was abandoned at the beginning of 1992.

The President may not delegate the duties of the office of President to anyone else, except for the function of Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces, which the President may, on submission by the Government and under exceptional circumstances, delegate to another Finnish citizen; and the formal opening and closing of the Åland Assembly, which may be performed on the President’s behalf by the Governor of Åland.

Annual compensation

The President’s annual compensation is specified by law and remains the same until Parliament decides to amend it. Currently the President receives EUR 126,000 per year. In addition to this, the President is provided an official residence whose upkeep, heating, lighting, decoration and service personnel are provided for out of government funds. The President’s spouse receives no compensation or other benefits by virtue of that position.

Between 1919 and 1999, the President’s compensation was confirmed separately for each term of office by an Act enacted by Parliament, but as of 1 March 2000 it has been possible to amend the compensation in mid-term by the same procedure.

The President’s compensation, housing benefits, pension and family pension are tax-free. Any other income received by the President is taxed normally.

Pension

The President’ pension is likewise provided for by law. The President’s annual pension is 60% of the compensation paid to the President while in office, i.e. currently EUR 96,000. Any person who has been President for six years or more is granted this pension (full pension). For each full year by which the President’s term is short of six years, one sixth of the pension is deducted; however, the minimum pension is half of the full pension.

Additionally, the government may provide a former President with a residence at a reasonable rent and suitable separate premises for working, and also with transport, security, secretarial and clerical services within the constraints of the central government budget.

The President’s spouse receives no pension by virtue of that position, but in the event of being widowed is entitled to a survivors’ pension equalling 50% of the President’s pension.

 

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Updated 7/15/2013

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