Navigation path

Denmark - Old-age pension and survivors

In what situation can I claim?

You can receive public old-age pension when you reach the public retirement age, and if you meet a number of conditions. Please note that the age that you can withdraw from the labour market change constantly. It is therefore a good idea to keep yourself up-to-date. See public retirement age here.

You will automatically be paid ATP Life-long Pension when ATP contributions have been paid for you and you reach the public retirement age. This is a statutory pension which the majority of the Danish population receive in addition to the public old age pension.

If your deceased spouse/cohabiting partner received old age pension, you are also entitled to receive his/her old age pension for 3 months after his/her death (known as survivor's pension). If this is not the case, you can apply instead for a lump sum (known as assistance for survivors). Please note that you can also apply for a death grant.

What conditions do I need to meet?

You must have reached the public retirement age and applied for the old age pension.

The public retirement age will be gradually raised from 65 to 67 between 2019 and 2022, i.e. by ½ year on each 1 January.

Date of birth

Public retirement age

31 December 1953 or earlier

65

1 January 1954 - 30 June 1954

65 ½

1 July 1954 - 31 December 1954

66

1 January 1955 - 30 June 1955

66 ½

1 July 1955 - 31 December 1962

67

1 January 1963

1 January 1967

68

68 + (depending on future indexations)

If you are not a Danish citizen, the general rule for receiving Danish state pension is that you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and have had a total of at least 3 years of earned entitlement to pension from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, of which at least 1 year was earned in Denmark.

ATP Life-long Pension is compulsory by law for citizens who have been employed on the private or public labour market (see here for more information – in Danish only).

You pay ATP contributions from your income when you:

  • are an employee;
  • have reached the age of 16;
  • work in Denmark or are posted by a Danish employer to short-term work abroad;
  • work at least 9 hours a week or receive a number of social benefits (transfer income);

A few groups can choose for themselves whether they wish to pay into ATP. See what benefits you pay ATP contribution from.

Please note that you can choose for yourself to pay into ATP Life-long Pension, if you:

  • are self-employed;
  • receive voluntary early retirement pension (efterløn);
  • receive transitional benefit;
  • receive flexible working allowance;
  • receive disability pension (granted before 1 January 2003);
  • receive partial pension.

You have to pay into ATP, as long as you are working, regardless of how old you are - even if you have started to be paid ATP Life-long Pension.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The public old age pension is a life-long benefit and consists of a basic amount and a pension supplement. The basic amount is the same for single people and cohabiting people, while the size of the pension supplement depends on whether you are single, married/cohabiting.

Public old age pension per month before tax

As a single person:

As a married/cohabiting person:

Basic amount

DKK 6,237

DKK 6,237

Pension supplement

DKK 6,728

DKK 3,333

Total:

DKK 12,965

DKK 9,570

Your economic situation also affects what you can receive in public old age pension.

Income from interest, individual pension or labour-market pension does not affect the basic amount, but it may be reduced if you have an income from work of more than DKK 322,500 per year.

You cannot receive the basic amount if you have an annual income from work of more than DKK 565,800. If your income from work is high you can consider deferring your pension. This gives you entitlement to receive a supplement known as percentage for deferment when deferment is terminated.

Your pension supplement depends on your and your spouse's/cohabiting partner's income.

Your pension supplement is reduced to an annual income of

You cannot receive the supplement if your annual income exceeds

Single person

DKK 71,200

DKK 332,500

Married/cohabiting with pensioner

DKK 142,800

DKK 392,900

Married/cohabiting with non-pensioner

DKK 142,800

DKK 267,800

The first DKK 60,000 you earn from personal work is disregarded in calculating the pension supplement.

Please note that you have to pay tax on both the basic amount and the pension supplement.

If you live or have lived abroad

The amount may be smaller if you have lived for periods in other EU/EEA countries/Switzerland from age 15 until retirement age. After 40 years of residence in Denmark, Greenland, the Faroes since you are 15 to 65 years, you are entitled to the full rate, otherwise you are entitled to what is known as a fraction pension. For example, you are entitled to half if you have lived in Denmark for 20 years.

Survivor's pension/assistance for survivors

If your cohabiting partner/spouse dies and was a recipient of old age or disability pension, you can additionally have his/her old age pension paid to you for 3 months after his/her death (known as survivor's pension). The money will automatically be deposited in your NemKonto account for those 3 months, after which your pension will be automatically recalculated according to the rate for single persons.

If you are not entitled to survivor's pension and you have lived together with your spouse/cohabiting partner for 3 years prior to his/her death, you can apply for assistance for survivors from the Udbetaling Danmark. You have to apply no later than 6 months after the death. If you live abroad, you have to apply to Udbetaling Danmark, International Pension, to receive it. Assistance for survivors is a lump sum up to a maximum of DKK 14,677. Read more about aid to survivors.

Death grant

You can apply for a death grant if the deceased was entitled to Danish health insurance (if he/she had moved to Denmark, or if he/she had been resident here, the person concerned would have been entitled to public health benefits). You apply for death grant at borger.dk. You can also apply to the municipality's citizen service if you do not have Internet access. It is Udbetaling Danmark that pays the amount.

Death grant depends on the age of the deceased person, and whether he/she leaves assets.

Age of the deceased

Death grant

Deceased is below the age of 18

Maximum DKK 9,200

Deceased is over the age of 18

Maximum DKK 11,000

Deceased was born before 1 April 1957

Minimum DKK 1,050

The deceased has left children under the age of 18 or a spouse

The deceased was a single person and has not left any children under the age of 18

Entitlement to the full amount of death grant:

The married couple's combined capital assets are no more than DKK 36,700 (thereafter the grant is cut)

The deceased's combined capital assets are no more than DKK 18,400 (thereafter the grant is cut)

Death grant lapses:

The married couple's combined capital assets are DKK 47,700 or more

The capital assets are DKK 29,400 or more

Please note that Udbetaling Danmark as a rule does not pay the death grant until the probate court has completed settlement of the estate. Get more information on death grant.

ATP

The amount you receive in ATP Life-long Pension depends on how much you have contributed over the course of your life, and when you have contributed. The earlier you have contributed, the more pension you receive from it. Log in to borger.dk and get your pension overview from ATP.

You will receive a letter from ATP a few months before you reach retirement age. It will tell you how much you can expect to be paid. Your ATP Life-long Pension will automatically be deposited in your NemKonto account on the last banking day of the month in which you reach public retirement age.

If you live outside Denmark you have to request your ATP Life-long Pension.

If you receive more than DKK 2,900 annually, you will receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. If the amount is DKK 2,900 or below, you will receive a lump sum.

Your retirement age depends on your date of birth:

31 December 1953 or earlier

65

1 January 1954 - 30 June 1954

65 ½

1 July 1954 - 31 December 1954

66

1 January 1955 - 30 June 1955

66 ½

1 July 1955 - 31 December 1962

67

1 January 1963

1 January 1967 or later

68

68 + (depending on future indexations)

You can opt to defer your pension from ATP until you reach the age of 75. Your pension will be increased for each month you opt to defer it.

Please note that some survivors can be paid a lump sum from ATP Life-long Pension when you die. However, there are various rules which depend on whether it is to your spouse, cohabiting partner or children. The payment is made automatically 3 weeks after the death. If you live outside Denmark on the date of your death or your survivors live outside Denmark the survivors have to request the lump sum. Read more about payment on death.

Read more about ATP Life-long Pension at borger.dk. Here you can get information related among other things to whether you live abroad, annual costs of ATP, and taxation of ATP.

Jargon busters

  • Udbetaling Danmark (Payment Denmark) is a public authority which is responsible for payment of a number of public benefits to the citizens. These are tasks which were previously dealt with by the country's 98 municipalities;
  • Borger.dk is your portal to the public sector. Here you can get more information about pension benefits and benefits for survivors;
  • NemKonto (Easy Account) is an ordinary bank account which you have beforehand. You can choose for yourself which of your bank accounts is to be your NemKonto account. The public authorities pay into this account.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

At the links below you can obtain information on your legal rights. They do not refer to European Commission websites and therefore do not represent the views of the Commission:

European Commission publications and website:

Who do you need to contact?

Udbetaling Danmark
Kongens Vænge 8
3400 Hillerød
DENMARK

Beskæftigelsesministeriet (Ministry of Employment)
Ved Stranden 8
1061 København K
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72205000
Fax +45 33121378
E-mail: bm@bm.dk

ATP Livslang Pension
Tel. +45 70128000 Monday-Thursday 8.00 am - 4.00 pm, Friday 8.00 am – 3.30 pm.

Get more information at borger.dk. You can also get assistance with service at borger.dk by phoning 1881 or +45 70101881.

If it is not possible for you to use the online self-service facility, you can obtain assistance from the local authority's Citizen Service. Find your local authority's Citizen Service.