Danish senior pension

Ældre kvinde og lille pige på en bænk
Photographer
Mads Schmidt Rasmussen / norden.org
To be entitled to receive senior pension, you must be no more than six years from pensionable age and meet certain conditions. You can read more about the scheme here.

Senior pension is for persons who are no more than six years from retirement age, have had a long-term connection to the labour market with a total of at least 20-25 years of employment, and whose ability to work has been permanently reduced to a maximum of 15 hours per week compared to their most recent job.

Do you have the right to Danish senior pension?

You may be entitled to senior pension if you are no more than six years from retirement age, you have had a long-term connection to the labour market with a total of at least 20-25 years of employment, and your ability to work has been permanently reduced to a maximum of 15 hours per week compared to your most recent job.

You are not entitled to a senior pension if your working capacity is only temporarily reduced.

If you live in Denmark, your local authority will assess whether you have the right to a senior pension.

Contact your local authority if you wish to know more about senior pension.

If you live outside Denmark, Udbetaling Danmark will assess whether you have the right to senior pension. To apply for Danish senior pension, contact the pensions authority in the country in which you live.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark if you would like to know more about Danish senior pension.

How do you earn the right to a Danish senior pension?

You earn the right to a Danish pension by living and working in Denmark. 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.

You have the right to full senior pension if you have lived in Denmark for at least 4/5 of the time from reaching the age of 15 to being awarded the pension and have not earned the right to a social pension from another country during that same period. If you do not qualify for full senior pension, the amount you receive will be calculated on the basis of how long you have lived in Denmark and 4/5 of the time since you turned 15 until you are awarded senior pension. 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 are granted the senior pension to be entitled to a full senior pension.

You do not have the right to Danish senior pension if your earning period in Denmark has been less than one year.

See borger.dk for more information and for a sample pension calculation.

How do I apply for senior pension?

If you live in Denmark, your local authority will process your application for senior pension.

If you have earned the right to senior pension in one or more of the other Nordic countries, Udbetaling Danmark will forward your application to the appropriate other country or countries. 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 senior pension in Denmark, you will generally need to apply for it to the authorities in the country where you live.

If you have worked or lived in more than one Nordic country, it is important to note that the conditions for senior pension may vary. You can contact the authorities of the countries in which you have lived and worked for more details.

If you live in Denmark, you may also have the right to supplementary financial assistance if your senior pension is not enough to live on. If you live abroad, you will not normally receive supplementary financial assistance from Denmark. You should apply for assistance in the country where you live.

One-off payments and housing allowance

If you receive senior pension and live in Denmark, you can apply to your local authority for additional financial assistance for items such as medicine or unforeseen one-off expenses if you are unable pay for them yourself.

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.

Can you take your Danish senior pension with you to another Nordic country?

If you are a Danish citizen or citizen of an EU or EEA country, 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 at borger.dk.

Can you work while receiving senior pension?

You and your spouse/cohabitant are allowed to work while you are receiving senior pension, but this may affect the amount you may receive in senior pension. You must inform Udbetaling Danmark of any changes in your financial circumstances, including whether you have started working. You should be aware that your senior pension will be subject to re-evaluation if you start work, and that this could result in your senior pension being suspended.

How is senior 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. When the three months are up, the pension of your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner will be adjusted to the rates and rules that apply to a single person.

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.

Where do you pay tax if you receive Danish senior pension abroad?

See the Nordic tax portal, Nordic eTax, for more information about the taxation of pensions in the Nordic Region.

Supplementary labour market pension

If you are receiving disability pension you may choose to contribute to the supplementary labour market pension (SUPP). If you contribute to SUPP, you will receive an extra payment every month when you retire.

Obligatory pension scheme 

Contributions are paid to the obligatory pension scheme from the senior pension. In 2020, the contribution to the obligatory pension scheme is calculated as 0.3 percent, rising annually by 0.3 percentage points in subsequent years up to and including 2030, so that in 2030 it will be 3.3 percent. The contributions to the obligatory pension scheme for persons in receipt of senior pension are paid by the state.

Whom should you contact if you have questions?

If you live in Denmark and have questions about Danish senior pension, please contact your local authority.

If you live abroad and have questions about Danish senior pension, please contact Udbetaling Danmark, international pensions office.

If you live Denmark and have questions about foreign disability pension or senior pension, please contact Udbetaling Danmark, foreign pensions office.

The contact details are in the blue box at the top right-hand corner of this page.

Further information

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