Tax on Danish and non-Danish pensions

If you live in Denmark, you generally pay Danish tax on payments from all pension schemes

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If you take out a Danish pension scheme, the tax relief varies depending on the type of pension. When you save up for your pension, you will get a return on the money you have saved up. Your pension savings return is taxed at 15,3%. When your pension is paid out, the pension payments are generally taxable, but the rules vary depending on the type of pension. 

As a general rule, you automatically receive your tax relief and pay the right amount of tax on your pension and early retirement benefits. But remember to check or correct your preliminary income assessment when you contribute to a pension scheme. 

If you live in Denmark, you generally have no right to deduct or exempt contributions paid into a foreign pension scheme by yourself or by your employer.

If you have a pension scheme that is established in another EU/EEA country, you can apply to the Danish Tax Agency (Skattestyrelsen) to have your foreign pension scheme approved. 

There are particularly favorable tax rules regarding your foreign pension scheme if you are covered by EU rules for so-called migrant workers.

If the Danish Tax Agency has approved your pension scheme, you can obtain tax relief for your contributions under Danish rules. Approval also means that when you receive payments from the scheme at a future date, they will be taxed under Danish rules.

If you have moved to Denmark after having lived abroad, you are only required to pay tax or charges on the payments from your foreign pension scheme that correspond to the contributions which you have been able to deduct in connection with the calculation of your total personal income.

If you live in Denmark, you must generally pay tax to Denmark on your pension benefits from abroad. However, your tax liability regarding non-Danish pension schemes depends on whether Denmark has signed a double taxation agreement with the relevant country.

Moreover, the type of pension scheme also matters.

If you move from Denmark to another country, it is a good idea to look into the tax rules that apply to the pension you will take with you abroad.

If you disagree with a decision or the way your case has been handled, you can either:

  • appeal against the decision to the Danish Tax Appeals Agency (Skatteankestyrelsen),
  • complain about the handling of your case or
  • bring the decision before the courts.
Last updated: 23 June 2021