You can apply to receive social pensions such as the state pension, payments from ATP and disability pension even if you move to an EU country or a country outside the EU. There are however different rules depending on which country you live in.
You can apply to receive social pensions from Denmark if you move abroad
Danish state pension abroad
As an EU/EEA citizen living in an EU/EEA member country you must fulfill the following conditions:
- you must be an EU/EEA citizen
- you must have permanent residence within a member country
- you must have lived in Denmark for at least three years between the age of 15 and 65.
If you have worked in other EU countries and have earned qualifying years towards state benefits there, than the rule of three years of residence in Denmark will not necessarily apply to you.
In such case one year of residence in Denmark will be enough for you to receive Danish state pension abroad, as Udbetaling Danmark must take into account the years you have worked in the other member state.
If you have worked in several EU countries, then you might have accumulated pension rights in each country.
When the time comes for you to claim your pension, you normally have to apply in the country where you are living or in the country where you last worked. That country is then responsible for processing your claim and bringing together records of your pension contributions from all the countries you have lived in.
If you have never worked in the country where you now live, you should apply to the relevant authority in the last country where you worked. Your application will then be processed there.
Apply for state pension from Denmark
If you have worked in several countries, you should apply for your pension in the country where you live, unless you never worked there. In the latter case, you should apply in the country where you last worked.
If you live outside of Denmark and want to apply for Danish state pension:
Once a year, pensioners abroad are requested by Udbetaling Danmark to prove that they are still alive by sending a life certificate.
Each year you will receive a letter from Udbetaling Danmark regarding the life certificate. In the letter you will find information about how to send your life certificate and a date for when Udbetaling Danmark must receive your life certificate at latest.
For pensioners in Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, however, there is only a life certificate procedure if Udbetaling Danmark request further information.
Foreign state pension
You may be entitled to a foreign pension (udenlandsk pension) if you have lived or worked in another country than Denmark. It depends on the rules in the individual country whether you are entitled to have your foreign pension paid out in Denmark.
Please be aware that you must contact different authorities, when you apply for foreign pension:
- Pension from an EU/EEA Member State, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or a country with which Denmark has concluded a convention on social security: please contact the Danish authority Udbetaling Danmark if you live in Denmark and are entitled to Danish pension. Your application for Danish pension also serves as application for the foreign pension. Udbetaling Danmark will send a copy of your pension case to the Udbetaling Danmark International Pension, which will forward it to the foreign pension authority. If you do not receive Danish pension, you may choose to fill in an application form and send it to Udbetaling Danmark International Pension.
- Pension from a country outside the EU/EEA, and with which Denmark has not concluded a special agreement: please contact the embassy of the country in question here in Denmark.
If you want to complain about a decision regarding foreign pension, you must draw up the complaint yourself and send it to the right authority abroad. It will appear from the decision which authority it is and what the deadline is for complaints.
If you are applying for one of the following social benefits from abroad, your application must be handled by Udbetaling Danmark, International Pension.
In the chart below you can see the case processing time limits:
|Social benefit||Case processing time limits||Average processing time|
|State pension||13 weeks||35 weeks|
|Deferred state pension||13 weeks||22 weeks|
|Personal supplement||13 weeks||14 weeks|
|Disability pension||21 weeks||42 weeks|
|Danish health care insurance||3 weeks||4 weeks|
The case processing time limit period begins the same day Udbetaling Danmark receives your application.
You can help ensure that your application is processed as soon as possible by:
- Attaching the required documentation
- Ensuring that your information in the National Register of Persons (CPR) is correct.
If you are not satisfied with how Udbetaling Danmark has dealt with your case, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark, 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 pension – or any other decision that Udbetaling Denmark makes in your case. You will always receive a letter from Udbetaling Denmark, 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, Pension, preferably marked ‘Klage over Pension’.
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