Early retirement pension

Early retirement pension is a pension benefit for those who have had a long attachment to the labour market.

About early retirement pension

Early retirement pension is a pension benefit for those who have had a long attachment to the labour market. 

Early retirement pension means that you are entitled to retire 1, 2 or 3 years earlier if you fulfil the conditions for how many years you have been attached to the labour market (seniority).

Your seniority is accrued in whole years, meaning that you cannot accrue 1.5 years of entitlement to an early retirement pension. 

You accrue seniority from the time you reach the age of 16 and up to the time where there is 6 years (7 years for some age groups) until you reach the state retirement age. Please note that this means that the accrual period is from the age of 16 to the age of 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups). 

In the example below, the person in question is born before 01.01.1965. For people born after 01.01.1965, the accrual period is up until reaching the age of 62.

When are you entitled to early retiement pension


When you can start receiving an early retirement pension depends on three things:

  • Your age
  • your attachment to the labour market and
  • when you apply for payments from. 

The entitlement matches the state retirement age that applies to you. 

Please note that in the period before you start your early retirement pension you must preserve the entitlement to an early retirement pension by having a current attachment to the labour market. Read more in the ‘Current attachment to the labour market’ section.

You must also fulfil a number of other conditions to receive an early retirement pension. Read more in the ‘Requirements for being entitled to an early retirement pension’ section. 

If you have less than 6 years until you reach the state retirement age, you can apply for the right to start an early retirement pension.

If you were born in 1963, 1964, 1967 or 1968, you can apply for an early retirement pension 7 years before you reach the state retirement age. 

In order to be entitled to receive an early retirement pension, you must also fulfil a number of requirements and conditions, including requirements concerning your address and citizenship. Read more in the ‘Requirements for being entitled to an early retirement pension’ section. 

If you were born in 1959 or 1960

Udbetaling Danmark can postpone the case processing for people who were born in 1959 and 1960 so that Udbetaling Danmark, Early Retirement Pension, can process the cases whose payments will start first.

This applies to people who apply for an early retirement pension in 2021 and were born in 1959 and 1960 plus people who apply for an early retirement pension in 2022 and were born in 1960.

If you were born in 1959 or 1960, you can expect to hear from us within 12 weeks. However, the case processing may in some cases take up to 12 months if there is a need to supplement your case with additional documentation. We will contact you when we begin processing your application

Other age groups

You will hear from us within 4 weeks. If there is a need to supplement your application with additional documentation, it may take up to 6 months before your case has been processed.

When you can start your early retirement pension depends on how many years you have been attached to the labour market. However, the soonest it can happen is 3 years before you reach the state retirement age. 

You accrue seniority from the time you reach the age of 16 and up to the time where there is 6 years (7 years for some age groups) until you reach the state retirement age.Please note that this means that the accrual period is from the age of 16 to the age of 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups). 

Please note that if, for example, you accrue 42.232 years of seniority, this will be rounded down to 42 years. You can accrue early retirement pension entitlements for 1, 2 or 3 years - not half years.

The table shows you how many years you need to have been in the labour market based on your date of birth and your state retirement age in order to be entitled to an early retirement pension 1, 2 or 3 years before you reach the state retirement age.

Early retirement pension

Please note that if, for example, you accrue 42.232 years of seniority, this will be rounded down to 42 years. You can accrue early retirement pension entitlements for 1, 2 or 3 years - not half years.

Start Send documentation to Early Retirement Pension

Seniority is the number of years you have been attached to the labour market from the time you reach the age of 16 and to the time when there is 6 years (7 years for some age groups) until you reach the state retirement age.

Seniority does not only count the number of years that you have been in employment. It also counts periods of maternity/paternity leave, certain public benefits and periods of self-employment. You do not accrue seniority after reaching the age of 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups). 

You accrue seniority from and including the date on which you reached the age of 16 up to and including the day before you reach the age of 61. In other words, you do not accrue seniority for the whole year in which you reach the age of 16 and 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups).

Send documentation 

Here you can send documentation with more information regarding early retirement pension.

You can receive up to DKK 13,740 (2022) before tax per month. Your benefit may be reduced due to:

  • residency and/or work abroad after reaching the age of 15
  • your pension assets
  • income from personal employment at the same time as receiving early retirement pension payments

In order to start an early retirement pension, it requires that you have been entitled to receiving an early retirement pension and that the following conditions are met.

  • You must have a current attachment to the labour market via employment or as a member of an unemployment insurance fund. Read more about what kinds of employment are included
  • The attachment to the labour market must be for a consecutive period of 9 months immediately before the period at which there are 3 months to go until you start receiving your early retirement pension.

Transition scheme

There is a transition scheme for people who want to start their early retirement pension before 1 March 2023:

  • Transition until 1 July 2022: No requirement concerning a current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 July 2022: Requirement for 1 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 August 2022: Requirement for 2 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 September 2022: Requirement for 3 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 October 2022: Requirement for 4 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 November 2022: Requirement for 5 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 December 2022: Requirement for 6 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 January 2023: Requirement for 7 month’s current attachment to the labour market.
  • Transition as at 1 February 2023: Requirement for 8 month’s current attachment to the labour market.

However, the transition scheme does not apply when transitioning from a flexible employment scheme (‘fleksydelse’) to an early retirement pension. When transitioning from early retirement benefit, you will meet the requirement for attachment to the labour market if you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund.  Read more about early retirement pension if you are already receiving an early retirement benefit or in a flexible employment scheme (‘fleksydelse’) in the section called ‘If you are receiving an early retirement benefit or on a flexible employment scheme (‘fleksydelse’) and want to start your early retirement pension.’

If before the transition to early retirement pension you have been granted a disability pension or a senior pension, you will not meet the requirements for a current attachment to the labour market.
The same applies if you are entitled to a social pension from another EU/EEA member state or a pension paid in Switzerland, the United Kingdom or another country.

Employment in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and the United Kingdom

If you can document employment or if you have unemployment insurance in another EU/EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom during the period, you will fulfil the requirement for attachment to the labour market.  

Membership of an unemployment insurance fund

When fulfilling the requirement for an attachment to the labour market via membership of an unemployment insurance fund, it is also a condition that you signed up for this unemployment insurance fund at least two years before the state retirement age. There is no requirement for having requested unemployment/sickness/maternity benefits while unemployed and thus be available for employment in order to fulfil the requirement of being attached to the labour market via an unemployment insurance fund membership.

Conditions for being paid the full benefit

The precondition for being paid the full benefit is that you have accrued a period of residency in Denmark for at least 9/10ths of the time from when you reached the age of 15 to when you start your early retirement pension.

If you have worked and accrued social pension entitlements outside of Denmark, then generally speaking these periods do not count in the measuring of your Danish residency period, regardless of whether you have always lived and had a registered address in Denmark.  

If you have not accrued the entitlement to a full benefit, you may be entitled to part of the pension - also called ‘the accrual percentage’. Your accrual percentage is calculated on the basis of the time that you have lived in Denmark during the accrual period minus any potential periods wherein you have accrued social pension entitlements outside of Denmark.   

You cannot receive the benefit

It is not possible to receive an early retirement pension if during the same period you are paid one of the following kinds of public benefits: Early retirement benefit Flexible employment scheme (fleksydelse) Unemployment benefits or holiday benefits (feriedagpenge) Disability pension or senior pension  Finally, you cannot receive the benefit if you are entitled to an equivalent foreign pension or a foreign pension that corresponds to the Danish state pension.     

Besides your age and the requirement of being attached to the labour market (seniority), you must also fulfil a number of general conditions. Generally speaking, you:

  • Must be a Danish citizen
  • Reside permanently in Denmark
  • Have lived in Denmark for at least 3 years from reaching the age of 15 until reaching the state retirement age
  • You may not receive a disability pension or senior pension

If you do not meet the conditions, you may still be entitled to an early retirement pension if you are covered by one of the exceptions. Read more under ‘Citizenship'. 

You normally need to be a Danish citizen to be entitled to an early retirement pension. However, this does not apply if you fulfil one or more of the following conditions:

  • You have lived in Denmark for at least ten years from the time you reached the age of 15 to when you reach the retirement age. Please note that you must have lived at least five years in Denmark prior to being granted your pension.
  • You are a refugee. You must be a refugee and have been granted a residency permit pursuant to Section 7 or Section 8 of the Danish Aliens Act. Please note that other rules apply if you have arrived in Denmark after 1 September 2015
  • You are a citizen of another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey. If you are a citizen of another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey, then generally speaking you do not have to be a Danish citizen to be entitled to an early retirement pension.

You normally need to have a permanent address in Denmark in order to be entitled to an early retirement pension. However, this does not apply if you meet one of the conditions below.

  • As a Danish citizen, you can apply for an entitlement to an early retirement pension if you live in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey
  • If you are not a Danish citizen, you need to meet one of the following conditions:

- You must live in another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey.
- You are a citizen of a EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, Turkey, a stateless person or a refugee.
- You have in total accrued at least three years of pension entitlement from an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey, including at least on your of accrual in Denmark (though this does not apply to refugees).
- You have worked in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey.

Please note that you cannot accrue seniority or fulfil the requirement about a current attachment to the labour market in/from Turkey.

You must have lived in Denmark, Greenland or the Faeroe Islands for at least three years from reaching the age of 15 to reaching the retirement age. If you have not lived in Denmark, Greenland or the Faeroe Islands from the time you reached the age of 15 to the time you start your early retirement pension, you can still qualify for an early retirement pension if you:

  • Are a refugee The time you have lived in your country of origin or the country where you had refugee status is counted in the 3-year period
  • Are a citizen of an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or Turkey and have in total accrued at least three years of pension entitlements from an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey including at least one year of accrual in Denmark.
  • Have been working in an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom or Turkey.

Apply for an early retirement pension

Start Apply for an entitlement to early retirement pension

When you can apply for an early retirement pension depends on your date of birth.

You can apply from the date that applies to you and up to reaching the state retirement age.

In the overview, you can see when you can apply for an early retirement pension. You can also see how many years of being attached to the labour market are needed before you are entitled to receive an early retirement pension. 

You do not accrue seniority after reaching the age of 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups). 

You accrue seniority from and including the date on which you reached the age of 16 up to and including the day before you reach the age of 61. In other words, you do not accrue seniority for the whole year in which you reach the age of 16 and 61 (62 and 63 for certain age groups).

If you were born in 1959 or 1960

Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration can postpone the case processing for people who were born in 1959 and 1960 so that we can process the cases whose payments will start first. This applies to people who apply for an early retirement pension in 2021 and were born in 1959 and 1960 plus people who apply for an early retirement pension in 2022 and were born in 1960.
If you were born in 1959 or 1960, you can expect to hear from us within 12 weeks. However, the case processing may in some cases take up to 12 months if there is a need to supplement your case with additional documentation. 

From application to payment

If you want to start your early retirement pension, you must:

  • Apply for an entitlement to early retirement pension
  • Maintain the entitlement to an early retirement pension and
  • Apply for the payment of your early retirement pension

Apply for an entitlement to an early retirement pension

Here you can you apply for an entitlement to an early retirement pension.
The page you are redirected to is in Danish. It is not possible to select another language.

Apply for the payment of early retirement pension

Udbetaling Danmark - Public Benefits Administration will contact you three months before you can start getting paid the early retirement pension.

You will receive a letter from us where you can see the information about your pension schemes and an indicative calculation of your benefit.

You cannot apply for the payment of your early retirement pension before you have received this letter.

Start Apply for starting the payment of your early retirement pension

You can only apply for payment of your early retirement pension when Udbetaling Danmark has confirmed that you are entitled to an early retirement pension.

We will contact you 3 months before you can start the payment of your early retirement pension. You will receive a letter from us with information about your pension schemes and an indicative calculation of your benefit. 

You cannot apply for the payment of your early retirement pension before you have received this letter. Therefore, you must apply for the payment of your early retirement pension and you must do so no later than two months before the date that you wish the early retirement pension paid from.   

Apply for starting the payment of your early retirement pension

Here you can apply for starting the payment of your early retirement pension. The page you are redirected to is in Danish. It is not possible to select another language.

If the decision about your entitlement to an early retirement pension is made less than 3 months before you can start the payment of your early retirement pension, you must apply for payment no later than 2 months after receiving the decision. If you are applying for payment via the self-service solution, your application must be sent no later than 2 months after the decision has been made.

If you are applying via a form, Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration must have received the form no later than 2 months after the decision was made.

You may be entitled to a payment of your early retirement pension with retroactive effect, but this depends on the date of your application.

When you receive early retirement pension

Your benefit may be affected if you have income from personal employment or receive holiday allowance. 

Your income from personal employment is included in the calculation of your benefit. You may earn up to DKK 24,700 (2022 rates) per year before tax without it impacting your benefit. If you earn more, your benefit will be reduced by 64 per cent of the income that exceeds DKK 24,700. If you only receive the benefit for a part of the year, the limit is DKK 2,058.33 for each month in which you receive the benefit.

Salary income

Each month, your employer reports salary income to the Danish Tax Agency’s income registry. Your benefit is therefore recalculated if there is new information about your salary income in the income registry.

If, after a month’s early retirement pension has been calculated, there is reported income in the income registry, your benefit will be recalculated. If you have received too much, then your benefit will be reduced by the excess amount in the next payment of your early retirement pension. The recalculation takes place each month, and you will receive a new letter about your payout each time the size of your benefit changes. 

Examples:Your March income exceeds the limit of DKK 24,700 and your benefit is therefore reduced by 64 percent of the income that exceeds the limit. In April you do not have any income. You will be paid the full benefit with not deductions. 

In May, you have an income of DKK 5,000. Your benefit will be reduced by 64 per cent of the salary income for the month of May.

In July, you have an income of DKK 25,000. The reduction for the month of July results in you not being paid your early retirement pension in that month. In August you have no salary income and therefore your early retirement pension is not reduced due to salary income.

Self-employment

Your benefit will be reduced if you have an income from personal self-employment amounting to more than DKK 24,700 (2022 rate) in a calendar year. Your benefit is reduced due to income from self-employment if you are active in the operations of the company. This also applies if you are a co-working spouse and receive income taxed as a co-working spouse. 

The reduction of income from self-employment is based on the preliminary income assessment which states your expected annual income from self-employment. Your expected annual income from self-employment is spread out as 1/12th of the income for each calendar month. 

Once per year, Udbetaling Danmark - Public Benefits Administration will recalculate your benefit on the basis of your tax assessment notice from the Danish Tax Agency for the year that has passed. This is called the ‘annual recalculation’. You must therefore change your preliminary income assessment if you have significant changes in income from self-employment in order to avoid a major change in your benefit during the annual recalculation.

If you have been paid too little in early retirement pension, you will get the amount owed paid and if you have been paid too much, you must repay the amount.

Payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday

You must notify Udbetaling Danmark if you receive a payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday. If you receive a payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday, the reduction will take place at the time at which you take the holiday. 

You must notify Udbetaling Danmark yourself about when you take holiday and how much you receive in payments in lieu of untaken days of holiday. You can decide for yourself if you want to change state the payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday as a gross or net amount. If you state the payment in lieu of untaken days of holiday as a net amount, we will recalculate it to be a gross amount by multiplying it by 1.70.

Income, etc. from other countries.

If you have salary income or income from self-employment in other countries where you are an active part of the business operations, then each month you must send information about the income to Udbetaling Danmark. If you do not send the information before the 15th of the following month, the payment of your early retirement pension will cease from the 1st of that month.

If you are a resident of another country

If you are a resident of another country or move abroad, then each month you must notify Udbetaling Danmark about your current address. If you have not sent in information about your current address before the 15th of the following month, the payment of your early retirement pension will cease from the 1st of that month. The payment can at the earliest be resumed from the 1st of the month after Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration has received the information.

Read more about what information and changes you must notify Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration of under ‘Duty of disclosure - remember to notify of information and changes.’

Start Information for the payment of early retirement pension

It is important to let Udbetaling Danmark - Public Benefits Administration know when there has been a change in your circumstances which could affect your benefit. This is because your benefits depend on the information you gave when you made your claim/applied. 

If you do not inform Udbetaling Danmark you could be paid too much benefit and have to pay it back. The same counts if you give us incorrect or incomplete information.

If you have income that is not stated on the income registry or the preliminary income assessment

Each month, you must notify us of your income from salary, etc. if it is not stated in the income registry (duty of disclosure). For example, this may be remuneration, B-income, etc. or salary income from countries outside of Denmark.

Once per year, Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration will check whether you have been paid the correct amount of benefits. The check is done by looking at your annual tax summary from the Danish Tax Agency for the year that has passed. This check is called the ‘annual recalculation’.

You must notify us if there are changes to previously submitted information about remuneration, B-income or salary income from outside of Denmark. Each year, you must send documentation for your income from self-employment abroad for the year that has passed.

If you are a resident of another country

If you are a resident of another country or move abroad, then each month you must notify Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration about your current address. If you have not sent in information about your current address before the 15th of the following month, the payment of your early retirement pension will cease from the 1st of that month.

You can read more about which information and changes you must notify us. 

Other subjects

If you are not satisfied with how Udbetaling Danmark - Public Benefits Administration has dealt with your case, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark, Early Retirement Pension. Sometimes misunderstandings can occur and can easily be resolved with a verbal explanation.

If you disagree with a decision

You may file a complaint about a decision from Udbetaling Danmark if you disagree with it. A decision can for example be classified as the amount you receive in early retirement pension – or any other decision that Udbetaling Danmark makes in your case. You will always receive a letter from Udbetaling Danmark, in which the decision will be stated along with a complaint guide. 

Udbetaling Danmark must receive your complaint no later than four weeks after your receipt of the decision. They will then assess the matter again.

If Udbetaling Danmark reject your complaint, they will forward it to the National Social Appeals Board. The National Social Appeals Board is an independent state institution and the highest complaint board for Udbetaling Danmark amongst others. 

Complaints about other matters

Udbetaling Danmark will also consider complaints received about other matters in your case and investigate whether there is anything that should have been done differently. You will always receive an answer to your complaint. 

How to file a complaint

You can file a complaint by calling Udbetaling Danmark or sending your complaint to Udbetaling Danmark, Early Retirement Pension  preferably marked ‘Klage over Pension’.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark, Early Retirement Pension

Last updated: 07 April 2022