There are various kinds of pensions in Denmark. This page provides information about retirement pension (state pension). You can read about the other types on the page about the pension system in Denmark.
Do you have the right to a Danish retirement pension?
As a rule, when you live and work in Denmark you are earning the right to a Danish retirement pension. If you live in Denmark and work in another Nordic country, you will generally earn pension rights in the country where you work. If you work in two or more countries or are posted to another Nordic country and are unsure about where you are earning the right to a pension, you should contact the authorities. In Denmark, you should contact the office for international social security at Udbetaling Danmark.
How do you earn the right to a Danish pension?
The right to a Danish pension is based on the number of years you spend in Denmark from the age of 15 to retirement age, or until you are awarded senior pension or disability pension.
You are entitled to a full retirement pension if you have had 40 years of residence during that period. If this is not the case, you may be entitled to a partial pension, known as a ‘fractional’ retirement pension. Fractional pensions are calculated on the basis of the length of time you have lived in Denmark during the period from age 15 to retirement age. If you were born on 1 July 1958 or later, you must have lived in Denmark for 9/10 of the time from age 15 until you reach retirement age in order to be entitled to a full retirement pension.
Any periods during which you were covered by the social security system of another state while living in Denmark will not be included in the calculation. You are not entitled to any form of Danish retirement pension if you have spent less than one year in the country.
When will your Danish retirement pension be paid out?
Your retirement age depends on when you were born. Retirement age is currently between 66 and 68.
You may choose to wait longer before receiving your pension. The longer you defer your pension, the larger your retirement pension will be.
How to apply for retirement pension
Retirement pension is not paid out automatically, so you must apply for it. You can apply for retirement pension up to six months before you reach retirement age.
If you live in Denmark, you must apply for your Danish retirement pension from Udbetaling Danmark.
See borger.dk for information on the Danish retirement pension and how to apply.
If you have earned the right to a retirement pension from one or more other Nordic countries, you must usually apply for this in Denmark. You can read about how to apply and what documentation you will need at borger.dk.
If you live in another Nordic country and have earned the right to a Danish retirement pension, you will generally need to apply for it to the authorities in the country where you live.
You may have the right to various supplements to your Danish retirement pension: supplementary pension (elderly cheque), media cheque, heating allowance, health allowance and personal allowance. You can read about these at borger.dk.
You may have the right to housing allowance. This depends, among other things, on your rent, your income, the size of your home and how many people live there. You can read more at borger.dk (in Danish).
Can you take your Danish retirement pension with you to another Nordic country?
If you are a Danish citizen or a citizen of an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you can generally take your pension with you to another Nordic country. You must apply to Udbetaling Danmark to take your pension abroad.
You cannot take your Danish pension with you to the Faroe Islands or Greenland. Instead, you should apply for a Faroese or Greenlandic pension.
You can read more (in Danish) at borger.dk.
How is retirement pension paid out in the event of death?
If you live with a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner who is also in receipt of either disability pension, senior pension or retirement pension, your pension will continue to be paid for up to three months after your death. This is known as a survivor's pension.
Your next of kin do not need to do anything about your disability pension, senior pension or retirement pension in the event of your death. The National Registration Office will notify Udbetaling Danmark and your local authority, and an automatic decision will be made about what will happen to your pension. However, if you live abroad, your family should contact Udbetaling Danmark.
How can you find out whether you have the right to a pension in Denmark?
If you have any questions about your Danish retirement pension, contact Udbetaling Danmark.
Where do you pay tax if you receive Danish retirement pension abroad?
See the Nordic tax portal, Nordic eTax, for more information about the taxation of pensions in the Nordic Region.
Who should you contact if you have questions?
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.