FAQ – questions and answers about Danish pensions

Last updated 1/29/2024
Below we have listed some of the most frequent questions we receive about pension from people working in Denmark. Read the answers and see whether they answer your questions.
What is the biggest difference between Danish and Swedish pension?

In both Sweden and Denmark the pension is divided into three components: a government component, a component financed by your employer and a private component. The biggest difference between the Danish and Swedish systems is the size of the various contributions to the pension system. The Swedish government pension is much bigger than the Danish equivalent, whereas people in Denmark normally have a larger private pension. In addition, not all Danish employers contribute to the pension of their employees via a company pension scheme.

How does a Danish company pension work?

Many workplaces in Denmark have a pension scheme that involves the employer paying two thirds of the contribution, and the employees paying the remaining third from their gross salary. Your part of the Danish company pension is therefore always deducted from the gross salary, whereas in Sweden the occupational pension is additional to the employee’s gross salary. Not all Danish employers have a pension scheme. Instead, you can take out an individual agreement via your trade union, your bank or by contacting a pension fund.

What tax deductions am I entitled to for my Danish pension contributions?

Denmark distinguishes between “retirement pension”, “annuity pension scheme” and “life annuity”. An annuity pension scheme entitles you to a deduction of DKK 63.100 per year (2024). There is no limit to how much you can contribute to a life annuity, and your contributions are deductible. You cannot deduct contributions to a retirement pension.


Read more about deductions for pension contributions on the Danish Tax Agency’s website

How do I apply for a pension in Denmark if I live in Sweden?

Your pension will be paid by the country in which you earned it. This means that Denmark will pay you the pension you earned by working in Denmark. However, you must apply for the pension in your country of residence. If you live in Sweden you must therefore apply to the Swedish Pensions Agency for a pension. Please note that this only applies to your government pension. If you have earned an occupational pension in Denmark, you must personally contact the pension fund(s) to which you contributed and inform them that you live in Sweden.

What happens to my Danish pension when I stop working in Denmark?

You can leave your pension savings in your Danish pension fund until you retire. In certain cases you can also request the money to be paid out in advance. However, in that case you have to pay 60 percent tax on the amount. Talk to your Danish pension fund about how you can withdraw your pension savings. Normally you cannot transfer your pension savings to a Swedish pension fund, as this would be tantamount to terminating your Danish pension and withdrawing the money early.


In Denmark, the return on your pension savings is taxed at 15.3%. This tax is called PAL tax (Pensionsafkastbeskatningsloven) and is deducted continuously when you have pension savings in Denmark. If you are no longer fully taxable or tax resident in Denmark (for example, if you have moved or stopped working in Denmark and live in Sweden), you can apply for exemption from PAL tax.


Read more about PAL tax exemption on the Danish Tax Agency's website

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You are always welcome to visit our Information Center in Malmö to get help with your questions regarding working, moving or studying in Denmark.


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