Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Sweden - Old –age pension

This chapter describes the Swedish pension system, different types of pension, the conditions for obtaining them and rules in the EU. It also explains what you should do to find out how large your future Swedish pension will be, which depends on many different factors, and how you apply for a pension.

This chapter describes:

  • public pension (allmän pension)
  • occupational pension (tjänstepension)
  • private pension (privat 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.. The limit is SEK 501,000 (7.5 times the income base amount). There is also a guarantee pension if you have low- or no income pension, which is an Article 58-benefit. The guarantee pension is calculated on periods of residence and the size of the total income-based 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. The income pension and premium  is based on your pensionable income. This pensionable income is calculated on the 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. The premium pension was implemented from 1995 and if you have worked in Sweden from that year or later, you have the right to a premium pension.

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. The guarantee pension is an Article 58-benefit when you also have been working/living in other EU/EEA-countries. If you were born in 1938 or later, you must have turned 65 to receive guarantee pension. In the calculation of your guarantee pension, the time of residence and the size of the income-based pension are taken into account.  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. If you also have insurance periods in other EU/EEA-countries,  those periods are taken into account when calculating the guarantee pension. 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 before 2003.

There is no fixed retirement age in Sweden. You can apply for your income pension from the month you become 62 years of age at the earliest and there is no upper age limit. You have the right to work until you are 68, but you can also work for longer if you and your employer agree on this. Your right to earn pension rights have no upper age limit. The guarantee pension is granted from the month you become 65 years of age.

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 65. In some agreements however, you can receive the pension earlier but it will then be significantly lower . 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, 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 501,000 , which corresponds to 7.5 income base amounts. The income base amount is changed every year in line with developments within Sweden. For 2020, the income base amount is SEK 66,800. For annual incomes over SEK 538,700, you receive no public pension. There is also a lower limit. For your income to be pensionable, it must amount to at least SEK 20,008  per year. This corresponds to 42.3% of the price base amount which applies for 2020

Pension (born 1938 or later)

amount (SEK per month)

Full guarantee pension (unmarried)

8,597

Full guarantee pension (married)

7,861

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, or if you don’t have 40 years of residence in Sweden.

If you reside in another EU/EEA-state, you should apply for the Swedish pension at the pension institution in your country. If you reside in Sweden or in another country, you can apply for your public pension to the Swedish Pensions Agency. You can do this on Your pension pages if you have an 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 that exceeds the maximum amount of the public pension and is  not included in the public pension. For example, a contribution of 4.5% of the employee's salary is paid up to the maximum limit of the public pension. After this, the employer pays a contribution of 30% of the salary to the occupational pension.

To obtain your occupational pension, you should contact the pension company that administers it. If you have e‑ID, 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.

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 but now live in Sweden, the Swedish Pensions Agency will ask you to provide supplementary information. However, it is the Swedish Pensions Agency who contacts the relevant authorities in these countries and apply for your pensions.

If you have lived and worked in Sweden but live abroad, you can have your Swedish pension paid out there, although not the guarantee pension if you live in a country outside the EU/EEA. You can receive guarantee pension when you live in an EU/EEA-country according to Swedish law but this law is only temporary. 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, USA, Poland, Island 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. One year of pensionable income is certified as a period of work as a whole year independent how long the work has been in Sweden that year.

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 the form for those who reside outside Sweden at: http://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/Blanketter.html. If you reside in Sweden, you can apply at https://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/ga-i-pension/ansok-om-pension/ansok-om-allman-pension. You can also contact the Swedish Pensions Agency.

Know your rights

Sweden:

EU:

Who do you need to contact?

The Swedish Pensions Agency
SE-839 77 Östersund
Sweden
Telephone customer service: +46 771776776 or +46 498 200 700 if you live outside Sweden (Monday – Friday 8 pm – 4 am). E-mail: https://secure.pensionsmyndigheten.se/SkickaEpost.html
Service office: https://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/om-pensionsmyndigheten/kontakta-oss/hitta-narmaste-servicekontor

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