This section contains information on old-age pension and what conditions you must meet to be entitled to such a pension.
In what situation can I claim?
Pension from the social security system
In order to be entitled to an old-age pension (ellilífeyrir) from the social security system in Iceland, you need to have lived in the country for at least three years at the age of 16 to 66 . Old-age pensions are paid from the age of 67.
Old-age pensions are income tested, which means that it decreases if you have other income and can be completely cancelled if your income exceeds a certain amount.
Employees and self-employed who have paid contributions to an occupational pension fund in Iceland can apply for old-age pension from the fund upon reaching the age of 65. Applications for this pension must be sent to the pension fund into which you have paid as an employee or as a self-employed.
There is no requirement for a minimum length of stay in Iceland to receive payment from occupational pension funds.
What conditions do I need to meet?
Pension from the social security system
Old age pension is calculated on the basis of how long you have lived in Iceland and how much you have earned:
- Those who have lived in Iceland for 40 years or more between the ages of 16 and 67 are entitled to a full old-age pension;
- Those who have lived in Iceland for less than 40 years between the ages of 16 and 67 are entitled to a proportional old-age pension;
- The maximum amount of public pension is a fixed amount. However, the pension amount is income-tested against income from other sources and it is reduced when income exceeds a certain level and withdrawn when income is above a given threshold;
- You can postpone withdrawing the pension up to 80 years of age if you are born in or after 1952. The payments will then be increased. The increase is calculated actuarially.
- The Social Insurance Administration can pay a child pension to an old-age pensioner if he or she has a child under 18 years of age;
- The Social Insurance Administration is authorised to pay other supplements to the old-age pensioner if he/she lives alone and/or is unable to support himself/herself without assistance. These include the household supplement for a single person, the special supplement for support and further supplements.
The pension funds have their own rules on the payment of occupational pensions. In general, however, account is taken of the length of payment and amount contributed to the pension fund.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
- Applications for old-age pensions are sent to the Social Insurance Administration (Tryggingastofnun);
- The website of the Social Insurance Administration contains instructions on how to apply for an old-age pension;
- The Social Insurance Administration publishes the amounts of pension payments on its websites and updates the figures every year;
- The amount of income supplements also changes between years.
- The Social Insurance Administration assists people who live in Iceland and who may be entitled to a pension from another EU/EEA country;
- Pensions are pre-paid on a monthly basis.
Means-tested: Payments increase or decrease in accordance with other income. If other income increases, then the payments decrease, and vice versa.
Support: a person is supported by someone if that person is responsible for providing for the person, e.g. children are supported by their parents.
Forms you may need to fill in
Application for old-age pension and other forms from the Social Insurance Administration.
Know your rights
The following websites provide information on your rights. They are not, however, operated by the EU Commission and do not reflect the Commission's views:
- Information on the rights of the elderly and old-age pensioners from the Social Insurance Administration
- Nordic web portal on pension payments
- The Icelandic Pension Funds Association Procedure - division of old-age pension rights
- Pension portal - one stop shop.
Publications and websites operated by the EU Commission: