There are several types of pension in Greenland:
- Statutory pensions, which are those provided by the public authorities, such as retirement pension and disability pension
- Labour market supplementary pensions, which are established in connection with employment
- Individual pensions which you establish yourself, for example as a supplement to the other pensions, or because you are self-employed.
You can read about the pension system in Greenland here:
Are you entitled to retirement pension in Greenland?
To be eligible for a Greenlandic retirement pension, you must have Danish citizenship or be covered by the Nordic Convention on Social Security (citizens of the Nordic countries and EU/EEA countries).
If you are applying for a retirement pension on the basis of Danish citizenship, you must have been permanently resident for at at least three years within the Danish Commonwealth (Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands) between the age of 15 and the pensionable age. It is not necessary for the three years to be consecutive.
If you are applying for a retirement pension that is covered by the Nordic Convention on Social Security, you must have worked and been resident in the Danish Commonwealth for at least three years, of which at least one year must have been in Greenland. In addition, you must, at the time of application, be resident in one of the countries covered by the Convention – i.e. the Nordic countries and the EEA countries.
When can you receive a Greenlandic retirement pension?
In order to be awarded a Greenlandic retirement pension, you must be 66 years of age. However, a person who is worn down after at least 35 years of hard physical or mental work may receive retirement pension from the age of 65 years.
On 1 January 2021, the retirement age will be raised to 67 years. You may however apply to your local municipal council for your retirement age not to be increased to 67 years until 1 January 2025 if you are worn down after at least 35 years of hard physical or mental work.
If you live in Greenland, you should contact the municipality in which you live to find out whether you are entitled to a retirement pension.
If you live in another Nordic country, you should contact the authorities in the country in which you live.
How to apply for retirement pension
If you are resident in Greenland, you must apply for a retirement pension in the municipality in which you live. You can do this with the help of NemID at Sullissivik (Public Service).
If you live in Greenland, but are applying for retirement pension from another Nordic country, you should contact the Ministry for Social Affairs and Labour.
You must pay tax on your retirement pension, just as you do on your wages. You have both a personal allowance and a standard deduction, which gives you tax exemption for part of your retirement pension. You can see the current size of the deduction on the website of the Tax Agency.
The retirement pension in Greenland consists of two parts: basic pension and supplementary pension. In some cases, extra supplements are also possible.
- The basic pension is the same for all old-age pensioners in Greenland. It is dependent on your income, but not your partner’s.
- The supplementary pension depends on whether you are single or have a partner. The supplementary pension is also affected by whether or not your partner is employed, and by the size of your total household income.
In addition to the basic pension and supplementary pension, there are a number of social factors that may make you eligible for extra supplements:
- If you have a support obligation for a child under the age of 18
- If you have extensive physical or mental disabilities
- If the municipality considers that your income after tax is too low to maintain a reasonable standard of living
If you are in financial difficulties, the municipality may grant you a lump sum if you lack money for food or major unforeseen expenses for a period.
As a pensioner, you have the option to continue to work – possibly with reduced hours. The size of your retirement pension will depend on how much you earn alongside it. If you or your partner's current income exceeds a certain limit, a deduction will be made in the amount that you can receive in your retirement pension.
Contact your municipality if you have any doubts concerning how much you can receive in retirement pension alongside your work.
Can you take a Greenlandic retirement pension to another Nordic country?
As a starting point, you cannot take your retirement pension with you out of Greenland. If you move to another Nordic country, you should therefore contact the authorities in the country to which you are moving. They can then help you to apply for a Greenlandic or other Nordic pension.
You cannot receive a Danish or Faroese retirement pension if you are a resident of Greenland – in that case, you must apply for Greenlandic retirement pension.
How is retirement pension paid out in the event of death?
If a person in receipt of retirement pension dies, the retirement pension of the deceased person is paid to the deceased’s partner or spouse, if any, for a period of two months after the end of the month in which the death occurred.
A partner is the spouse or registered partner of the deceased recipient of the retirement pension, or a person who has lived with the recipient of the retirement pension in a marriage-like relationship for a period of at least one year.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
If you have any questions relating to the legislation on retirement pension, you should contact the Ministry for Social Affairs and Labour.
If you have any questions about your application for a Greenlandic retirement pension, you should contact the municipality in which you live.
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.