Last updated: 4 10 2018

Image Boken om Sverige
This material is from the book About Sweden.

A pension is money you receive when you get older and stop working. The size of your pension varies. Among other things, it depends on what salary you earned when you were working, how long you worked for and how much money you yourself have saved.

Your pension can come from several different sources; partly from the Swedish Pensions Agency as the national retirement pension and partly from your employer in the form of an occupational pension. You can also have a private pension. The different pensions do not affect each other, rather they are added together to become your total pension.

You decide yourself when you want to retire. The later you retire, the higher the pension you will receive each month. The earliest you can start drawing parts of your national retirement pension is when you are 61 years old, but you have a right to work until you are 67. You can come to an agreement with your employer to continue working.

You choose yourself what proportion of your pension you want to draw. You can draw between 25 and 100 per cent of your pension each month. For example, you can choose to draw half your pension and continue working half of the time.

Source: The Swedish Pensions Agency

National retirement pension

The national retirement pension is a pension everyone who have lived and worked in Sweden is entitled to. This is a state pension and is paid out by the Swedish Pensions Agency.

If you want to know more about your national retirement pension, you can contact the Swedish Pensions Agency either via telephone or by making an appointment at one of their offices.

You earn money that goes into your national retirement pension each year you work, study or are on parental leave. The national retirement pension consists of an income pension and a premium pension that are based on your income. If you had a low income or no income, you can receive a guarantee pension.

Income pension.

How much income pension you receive depends on your income. Each year, you pay 16 per cent of your income or wage into the income pension. Aside from income from work, unemployment benefits, sickness compensation, activity compensation and parental benefits are also counted as income.

Premium pension.

Each year, 2.5 per cent of your income or wage is paid into investment funds. This is called the premium pension. The investment funds consist of securities or shares and you can choose yourself which investment funds you want your money to go into. The amount of premium pension you receive is dependent on how much you have paid in and how the shares and securities in the investment funds where you have your money are performing.

Guarantee pension.

The guarantee pension is for people who have had a low income or no income from work. In order to receive a full guarantee pension, you have to have lived in Sweden for at least 40 years. The guarantee pension decreases if you have lived in Sweden for less than 40 years. The guarantee pension also becomes lower if you already have another pension, for example an income pension.

Occupational pensions

The occupational pension is the part of the pension that your employer pays. The majority of people who are employees are entitled to an occupational pension. What sort of occupational pension you have depends on what the unions and employers have agreed. People who study, are unemployed, work at a workplace that does not have a collective agreement or are self-employed do not have an occupational pension.

If you have your own business you have to make your own contributions towards your occupational pension. These are known as owner's contributions.

Private pension

You can save towards your pension yourself. You can save money in a bank or in a unit-linked insurance fund from a retirement insurance company. You decide yourself how much money you want to save each month and when you want to start saving.

Income support for the elderly

Income support for the elderly is intended for when the other pension benefits are insufficient. If you are 65 years of age or older and are claiming all pension benefits you are entitled to, and you still don't have a reasonable standard of living, you are entitled to income support for the elderly. When you apply for income support for the elderly, the Pensions Agency will examine whether you are also entitled to a housing supplement.

Housing supplement for pensioners

A housing supplement is a supplement to your public pension. Your housing costs, your income, assets and family situation together determine what you can receive as a housing supplement.

You can apply for a housing supplement from the year you turn 65 and begin to claim your entire public pension. You can apply regardless of what type of housing you live in and of whether you own your home or not. You can apply even if you own other assets.

Moving abroad with your pension

You are allowed to keep your income pension, premium pension, occupational pension and private pension indefinitely, regardless of which country you move to. However, it is not necessarily the case that you will be allowed to keep your guarantee pension. This depends on which country you move to and what benefits you have. If you have a guarantee pension, you may keep this if you move to another country in the EU/EEA, Switzerland or, in certain cases, Canada. You lose your entitlement to income support for the elderly if you move abroad.