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Sweden - Old –age pension

In what situation can I claim?

In Sweden, you get different types of pension. From the Swedish Pensions Agency, you receive the public pension (allmän pension) which is based on your pensionable income. The majority of people also receive an occupational pension from their employer. In addition to this you can have an optional private pension.

Normally the higher your salary and the later you retire, the higher your pension will be. But this also depends on the growth of the funds in which parts of the pension are invested.

There is a limit to the pensionable income used for the calculation of the public income-related pension that you can receive. The limit is SEK 468,750 (7.5 times the income base amount). There is also a guarantee pension if you have low or no income pension.

The public pension is recalculated every year to follow price and income developments. The pension types mentioned in this chapter are taxable unless otherwise stated.

Pension conditions can also vary depending on when you were born. If you were born before 1938, you are covered by the old ATP system. If you were born after 1953, the new system applies. If you were born between 1938 and 1953 you are covered by both systems.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Public pension

Public pension consists of income pension, premium pension and in certain cases guarantee pension. Everyone who has worked and lived in Sweden receives the public pension which as a rule is based on your pensionable income. This is income you have paid tax on, such as salary, unemployment benefits and parental allowance.

Every year 18.5% of your pensionable income is earmarked for your retirement pension. 16% goes to your income pension, and the remaining 2.5% to the premium pension. The latter is money that is placed in funds that you actively can choose yourself. If you make no choice, the money is placed in a pre-selected fund.

Everyone born in 1938 or later has the right to income and premium pension provided that they have had pensionable income. If you were born before 1938, you instead receive supplementary pension based on your best 15 income years. If you were born between 1938 and 1953, you receive both income pension and premium pension and supplementary pension.

If you have had a small pensionable income, you can receive guarantee pension, financed by the state, as an addition to the income pension. If you were born in 1938 or later, you must have turned 65 to receive guarantee pension. You should have lived in Sweden for at least 40 years from the year you turned 16 until you turned 64 to receive full guarantee pension (40/40). If you have lived in Sweden for a shorter time, the guarantee pension is reduced by 1/40 for every missing year. To be entitled to guarantee pension, you must have been resident in Sweden for at least 3 years. For those born before 1938, other rules apply. You can have the right to guarantee pension, for example if you were entitled to national old-age pension or pension supplement under the old system.

There is no fixed retirement age, it is flexible. You can take out your retirement pension from 61 years of age at the earliest and there is no upper age limit. You have the right to work until you are 67, but you can also work for longer if you and your employer agree on this and continue to earn pension rights.

Occupational pension

Approximately 90% of Sweden's employees receive an occupational pension through their employer. The majority of them fall under one of the four main occupational pension agreements. If you have worked in different areas, you may have several occupational pensions. In the majority of agreements, you have the right to receive this from the age of 55. However, it will then be significantly lower than if you wait until the retirement age of 65 years. As a self-employed person, student or unemployed person, you receive no occupational pension.

Private pension

Private pension saving is voluntary.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Every year that you work and pay tax you receive additional money earmarked for your future pension. Every year, you also receive an orange envelope sent by the Swedish Pensions Agency, which shows you how much you have so far amassed for your retirement pension.

If you have e-ID or a personal code from the Swedish Pensions Agency, you can make a prediction of your pension on Your pension pages on the Swedish Pensions Agency's website.

In general the later you start taking your pension and the higher your salary is, the more you will receive in pension.

Public pension

Pension

Contribution (% of income)

Income pension           

16%

Premium pension                      

2.5%

There is an upper limit for how much pensionable annual income is taken into account as the basis for your income-based pension. This is SEK 468,750, which corresponds to 7.5 income base amounts. The income base amount is changed every year in line with developments within Sweden. For 2017, the income base amount is SEK 62,500. For annual incomes over SEK 504,375, you receive no public pension. There is also a lower limit. For your income to be pensionable, it must amount to at least SEK 19,247 per year. This corresponds to 42.3% of the price base amount which applies for 2018.

Pension (born 1938 or later)

amount (SEK per month)

Full guarantee pension (unmarried)

8,076

Full guarantee pension (married

7,204

If you are cohabiting and have children in common or if you were previously married to the person you are living with, you are also counted as married. The guarantee pension is lower if you have an income-based pension. However, receiving premium pension does not reduce the guarantee pension.

You apply for your public pension with the Swedish Pensions Agency. You can do this on Your pension pages if you have a personal code or e-ID. You can also apply using a form.

Occupational pension

How much you receive in occupational pension depends on things such as the agreement you fall under. Part of the occupational pension is defined benefit, which means that you are guaranteed a certain percentage of your final salary when you retire. Part of it, it is premium-based and this is placed in funds that you can choose yourself. How much you receive depends on how the funds you have chosen develop.

In general you can say that your occupational pension will represent 25-35% of your total pension.

There is no lower or upper limit for the occupational pension in the same way as for the public pension. However, you can have higher contributions to the occupational pension for the part of your salary which exceeds the maximum amount of the public pension and is thus not included in the public pension. For example, a contribution of 4.5% of the employee's salary is made up to the maximum limit of the public pension. After this, the employer makes a contribution of 30% of the salary in occupational pension.

To obtain your occupational pension, you should contact the pension company that administers it. If you have e‑ID or a code from the Swedish Pensions Agency, you can log in to Your pension pages and see which pension company is relevant for you.

Private pension

How much you receive from your private pension depends on how much you have saved and the growth of your investments. Contact the bank or insurance company that manages your savings for more information. You must have turned 55 to receive your private pension.

Pensions outside Sweden

If you have lived or worked in another country, you may be entitled to a pension from that country. If you state in your application for a Swedish pension that you have previously lived or worked in a country within the EU, the Swedish Pensions Agency will ask you to provide supplementary information. However, it is the Swedish Pensions Agency that contacts the relevant authorities in these countries.

If you have lived and worked in Sweden but live abroad, you can receive your Swedish pension there, although not the guarantee pension if you live in a country outside the EU/EEA. If you live within the EU, you should contact the pension authority in the country where you live to apply for a Swedish pension. To obtain your Swedish pension when you live abroad, you must send a 'life certificate' to the Swedish Pensions Agency once a year. However, this does not apply if you live in Finland, Norway, Denmark or Germany, as these countries send information electronically to the Swedish Pensions Agency.

Jargon busters

Public pension is a pension based on legislation. It consists of income pension, premium pension and guarantee pension.

Occupational pension is a pension paid by the employer.

Pensionable income is the income on which you have paid tax in Sweden.

ATP is the general supplementary pension. This is the old pension system which was replaced in 1999.

E-ID: see the chapter on Benefits during sickness.

Price base amount: see the chapter on Benefit during sickness.

Income base amount is an amount used to calculate pension fees. It changes every year in line with developments within Sweden.

Forms you may need to fill in

If you do not want to apply for your pension on the Swedish Pensions Agency website, you can submit a form. You can find these at: http://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/Blanketter.html

These include:

  • PM8370 Application for public pension for those resident in Sweden
  • PM8370 Application for public pension for those resident outside Sweden

Know your rights

Sweden:

EU:

Who do you need to contact?

The Swedish Pensions Agency
SE-106 44 Stockholm
Sweden
Telephone customer service: +46 771776776 E-mail: https://secure.pensionsmyndigheten.se/SkickaEpost.html
Service office: https://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/om-pensionsmyndigheten/kontakta-oss/hitta-narmaste-servicekontor