You earn a pension in the country where you are covered by the social insurance. If you are employed you are normally covered by the social insurance in the country where you work even though you may live in a different country.
Pension earnings in several Nordic countries
If you have been covered by the social insurance in several different countries, you may receive old-age pension or early retirement pension from each of these countries. The amount payable from each country depends upon the duration of time you have been insured and what your actual pension earnings were in each individual country. If, for example, you have pension earnings from three countries, you will receive a partial pension from each of these three countries. Each country will pay its proportion of the pension according to its rates and age limits. Note that the pensionable age for old-age pension is not the same in all of the Nordic countries.
An employee’s pension insurance data is recorded in each country of work. When you reach the pensionable age for old-age pension, each country in which you have pension earnings will grant you a pension in accordance with your pension accrual during the insurance period.
Pension for those not gainfully employed
In the Nordic countries, you have a right to a pension even though you have not been gainfully employed. If you have lived in several Nordic countries, you could be eligible to a residence-based partial pension from each of the countries in which you have lived based on the periods of residence in each country. Note that the pensionable age for old-age pension is not the same in all of the Nordic countries. A pension based solely on residence can be transferred to another Nordic country in the same way as a pension earned through work.
Applying for pension
If you have lived or worked in other EU countries, you may be entitled to receive pension from those countries as well. A surviving spouse and children may also be entitled to survivor’s pension from countries where the deceased has lived or worked. Pension may be accrued in EU countries on the basis of employment. A residence-based pension is accrued in those countries that provide residence-based pension security.
You should primarily apply for pension from a pension provider in your country of residence, but the application can also be submitted to a pension provider of any EU country in which you have spent time.
It is not necessary to separately apply for disability or survivor’s pension from each country. You may decide from which countries you wish to apply for pension. You ought to report all the countries where you have resided, but if you do not wish to apply for pension from all of them, please specify in your application form which countries you wish to leave out. You may withdraw your application as concerns one or all countries at a later point.
It may take a long time to process the pension application. Among other things, this is due to the pension providers having to clarify all the time periods when the applicant or the deceased has lived or worked in different Member states. It is necessary to know when a foreign pension will begin to be paid, since the pension sums may affect the amount of the national pension.
Your pension follows if you move to another country
If you move to another Nordic country, your pension will be paid to you in the destination country. There are specific rules on pension payment concerning relocation situations between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Pension will be paid according to the rules in effect in the area to which you are moving. This applies to the amount of pension as well as the age limits.
For instance, an old-age pension recipient who moves from Denmark to the Faroe Islands will no longer receive the Danish pension, but rather, a new pension will be granted in accordance with the legislation valid in the Faroe Islands. Note that the pensionable age for old-age pension is not the same in all countries.