The Swedish pension system

Det svenske pensionssystem
Read about the different types of pension in Sweden and how you earn your pension.

You are part of the Swedish state pension scheme if you are covered by Swedish social insurance. You become a member of the Swedish social insurance scheme by either working or living, and being registered, in Sweden. If you stop working, start working in another country, or move from Sweden, you retain the pension rights you have earned in Sweden.

The Swedish pension system is made up of three components: retirement pension (allmän pension) from the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten), occupational pension (tjänstepension) from your employer, and any private pension savings.

National retirement pension

The national retirement pension is administered by the Swedish pension authority, the Swedish Pensions Agency. It comprises income pension and premium pension, both of which are based on income. Retirement pension also has other components, depending on when you were born, if you have had low income, or if you had no income at all. These components are guaranteed pension, housing supplement (bostadstillägg), and personal income support (äldreförsörjningsstöd).

The retirement pension also includes a survivor’s pension, which is financial support if a close relative dies. The survivor’s pension comprises child’s pension, adjustment pension, and widow’s pension.

Occupational pension from the employer

Most people also receive an occupational pension from their employer. If you have had several different employers, you have occupational pensions from the different pension companies with which your employers have had agreements.

There are four large occupational pension agreements in Sweden. Which of them you belong to depends on where you work and whether your employer has an agreement. The four large occupational pension agreements cover employees in municipalities and county councils, government employees, white-collar workers in the private sector, and blue-collar workers in the private sector. Your employer may also have another scheme for occupational pension.

The occupational pension agreement you are a member of depends on the sector in which you work and when you were born. If you have questions about your occupational pension, you can talk to your employer, your pension company, or a pension choice centre (valcentral), depending on which occupational pension scheme you belong to.

Private pension savings

You can also set up an individual pension scheme and save for your pension through banks or insurance companies. This is a voluntary saving scheme. If you want to save privately towards your future pension, there are different ways to do so. Two examples of long-term pension savings are to make deposits in an investment savings account (investeringssparkonto, ISK) or save in an endowment insurance policy (kapitalförsäkring). Another way to save for the future is to pay off the mortgage on your property.

See how much your pension will be

If you have a Swedish electronic ID (bankID), you can log in to the website of the Swedish Pensions Agency (pensionsmyndigheten.se) and see a forecast of how much your monthly pension will be when you retire. The forecast shows retirement pension, occupational pension and any private pension savings of your own. However, you can only see the pensions you have earned in Sweden.

You also receive an annual report from the Swedish Pensions Agency and from any pension companies showing how much you have earned towards your pension each year. If you are unsure about whether you have an occupational pension, contact your employer.

Swedish retirement pension when you live outside Sweden

You can take all the pensions you have earned in Sweden to other countries. In the same way as when you live in Sweden, you can start drawing your pension when you are 62. If you were born in 1958 or earlier, then you can start drawing your pension when you are 61.

It is worth noting that, the later you take your pension, the higher it will be. This is because the pension is then paid out over fewer years.

How to apply for Swedish pension if you live outside Sweden

If you live in the Nordic countries, and are or have been covered by social insurance in the country in which you live now, contact the pensions authority in the applicable country to apply for Swedish pension.

The pensions authority in the country in which you live will send your application to the Swedish Pensions Agency, which assesses what you are entitled to and pays your Swedish retirement pension. The case processing time between when your application is received by the Swedish Pensions Agency and when you receive your first payment is normally around four months, but in some cases may take up to six months or more.

Providing you live in the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are entitled to both the pension you have earned through work and the guaranteed pension. The guaranteed pension is paid according to a temporary Swedish law that applies until December 2020. What will happen after that date is currently under discussion. The guaranteed pension is calculated on the basis of how many years you have lived in Sweden. Remember to notify the Swedish Pensions Agency if you move to a new address.

Who should you contact if you have questions?

Contact your employer or your pension company if you have questions about your occupational pension or your private pension savings.

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