Employment / earnings-related, special and partial old age pensions

In most of the Nordic countries special old-age pensions comprise several types of pensions granted to people in the last years of regular employment age. As such, they cannot be considered traditional old-age pensions.
They are based on social or health-related criteria, and/or labour-market participation or agreements that enable people to take full or partial voluntary retirement. A pension scheme of this sort is no longer available in the Faroe Islands.

Denmark

A voluntary early old-age pension scheme (efterløn) exists for members of an unemployment fund aged 60–65 who have paid into the pension scheme for 30 years. However, the number of people contributing to the pension scheme has decreased significantly since the ageing and pension reform in 2011.

A pension scheme called senior pension is available for people who have a long-term attachment to the labour market corresponding to having worked a full-time job for at least 25 years. To be eligible for senior pension, an applicant also needs to have a permanently reduced work ability, corresponding to being able work a maximum of 15 hours per week.

A pension scheme called early retirement pension is available for people who have a long-term attachment to the labour market corresponding to having worked a full-time job for at least 42 years and allows people to retire 1 to 3 years before the old-age pension age.
Similarly, a flexi-benefit is also available. This is a voluntary old-age scheme for people aged 60–64 working in flexijobs.

Finland

Since 2017 pension reform, the partial old-age pension replaced the part-time pension. The partial old-age pension offers a flexible way to combine working and partial retirement. Those born in 1949 or later can retire on a partial old-age pension as of age 61. For those born in 1964, the age limit is 62 years, and as of those born in 1965, the age limit will be linked to life expectancy. The partial old-age pension can be 25 or 50 per cent of the pension that has accrued up to the time that the pension is drawn. If taken early (before reaching one’s own retirement age), the part of the pension that is taken out will be permanently reduced by 0.4 per cent for each month that the pension is taken early. The reduction is permanent, which means that this part of the pension will be reduced also when the individual retires on a full old-age pension or some other pension.

An individual who gets a partial old-age pension can continue to work for as much as they like. The number of working hours or earned wage amount are in no way restricted.

All early old-age pensioners have been included in the statistics as old-age pensioners.

Farmers who cease work before reaching pensionable age may be granted a special pension.

Iceland

Fishermen with 25 years’ experience may retire at the age of 60 without reduction in the benefit amount. Since 2017, have those who do not meet that condition and are born in 1952 or later had the option to start receiving an old age pension from the age of 65, but this leads to a permanent reduction in the benefit amount.

Norway

For certain jobs, special age limits apply. For example, for most people working in the police force or in defence, the age limit is 60, but under certain circumstances they may retire at the age of 57.
The AFP (Collective Agreements Pension, Avtalefestet pensjon) is awarded as a life-long supplement to the old-age pension. In the public sector, the scheme is a time-limited early old-age scheme (62–67 years) that entitles public employees who are not subject to a special age limit to retire from the age of 62. Other pension schemes are adaptations of the National Social Insurance Scheme, and function as special early old-age schemes for people under 67. For example, this applies to the pension scheme for sailors and fishermen, who may draw an old-age pension from the age of 60.

Sweden

No new partial old-age pensions have been awarded since 2000.

Information about rules on employment / earnings related / supplementary pension schemes

All Nordic countries have different employment-, earnings-related or supplementary pension schemes. In the document below you will find a table with a list of comparisons of key features on this part of the social protection policies in the Nordic countries. The table cover rules from the year 2022.

Denmark

Due to the design of the old-age pension schemes, the earnings-related pension only represents a small part of the total payment.

Faroe Islands

Though part of the old age pension is related to earnings, all old-age pensioners receive the same payable amount from the labour-market pension scheme, as it is designed as a solidary pension-scheme. Therefore, it is often considered as a basic pension, though it does not rely on identical regulations.

Finland

Earnings-related pensions are insurance-based and cover all employees and self-employed individuals, with no income ceiling. As of 2005, the pension has been calculated based on total earnings during the period in which the individual was in work between the ages of 18 and 68.

The pension is financed through contributions from both employees and employers.

Iceland

The employment pension funds have paid out more than the amount paid in basic pension by the public authorities, and as such are an increasingly important part of the pension scheme.

Norway

The employment pension is part of the security provided by the National Social Insurance Scheme and is calculated in relation to previous income. Under the new accrual system, the income pension replaces the previous supplementary pension system. The proportion of the accrued income pension has been reduced in relation to the guaranteed pension (80 per cent).

Sweden

The employment pension is part of the security provided by the Swedish Pensions Agency and is calculated in relation to previous income. Under the new pension system, the income pension replaces the previous supplementary pension system.

The pensions have been calculated based on total earnings during the whole working life.