The pension system in Greenland

Foto: Fiskare, Nuuk, Grönland
Mats Bjerde
Here you can read some general information about the pension system in Greenland.

The pension system in Greenland comprises three different types of pension:

  • Statutory pensions
  • Labour market pensions
  • Individual pensions

Statutory pensions are pensions regulated by the public authorities, such as retirement pension and disability pension.

Labour market pensions are established as part of your employment relationship, by agreement with your employer. In Greenland, pension payments are required by law, and there is a statutory minimum percentage of your wages that you must save. In 2020 this is 6%, and will increase by 1% per year until 2024, when you will be required to save at least 10% of your salary.

Individual pensions are private pensions that you set up yourself through a pension company or bank.

Taxation on pensions

You can deduct your contributions to pension schemes in Greenland from your tax. You must then pay tax on the pension when it is paid out. If you have a pension scheme that you have set up yourself as a private individual, you must report the payments yourself in your tax return.

If you have foreign pension savings, you will have to pay tax on your contributions, and you will not be able to deduct the contributions from your tax. If you pay into the pension scheme yourself, this is done with money that you have already paid tax on, and you do not therefore have to do anything further. If your employer pays for a pension scheme for you, the employer must ensure that the tax is paid on the contribution.

If you have a Danish pension scheme and get a job in Greenland, it could be an advantage for you to ask your pension company about the so-called §53A scheme. In this way you can avoid being double taxed on the pension you earn when working in Greenland. Contact your pension company for more information about the scheme.

Pensions within the Danish commonwealth

Within the Danish commonwealth – Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland – special rules apply to the payment of retirement pensions and disability pensions.

If you receive a retirement pension or disability pension in Greenland and move to the Faroe Islands, it is a good idea to contact Almannaverkið (Faroe Islands Social Services) for advice and guidance. Please note that the age limit for retirement pensions in the Faroe Islands is 67 years. You will not therefore be entitled to a Faroese pension before you are aged 67, even if you have received a Greenlandic retirement pension before moving.

If you are in receipt of a retirement pension or disability pension in Greenland and you move to Denmark, please note that the age limit will need to be calculated. In Denmark, you can find more information about retirement pensions at Life in Denmark.

Labour market pensions and civil service retirement pensions

For payment of a labour market pension or civil service retirement pension, you should contact the pension fund(s) in which you have saved up. If you are in doubt, check your previous employment contracts for pension savings information.

If you have questions about pensions

If you have any questions concerning pension payments, contact the Social Services Administration in the municipality in which you live. You can find the municipality’s contact information at Sullissivik (Public Service).

If you have any questions about pension scheme contributions, contact the Tax Agency or your pension company.

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