Denmark’s average life expectancy increases again after 2018 plateau

The average life expectancy of Danes continued to increase last year, highlighting the importance of retirement plans.

Denmark’s average life expectancy increases again after 2018 plateau
File photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The average life expectancy in Denmark has increased steadily since the beginning of the 1990s, but in 2018 stood still for the first time since that decade, with an average life expectancy of 79 years for men and 82.9 years for women in the Scandinavian country.

2019 saw the established trend resume, however, with the average life expectancy of men and women increasing by 0.31 years and 0.27 years respectively.

The average life expectancy for men is therefore now 79.3 years and 83.2 years for women, according to Statistics Denmark data.

Average life expectancy is defined as the average number of years a person born today can expect to live.

With the population of Denmark growing older, increased demands are placed demands on the country’s pension system, according to Brian Friis Helmer, a personal finances specialist at bank Arbejdernes Landsbank.


“When we can expect to get older, we are faced with two choices: save more for retirement or remain on the labour market — at least if we want to maintain our standard of living when we retire,” Helmer said via a written comment.

The advisor recommended early planning for retirement and savings.

“Of course, that plan will change throughout life as you maybe find a partner or spouse, children, house and car. But that’s precisely why it’s important to continuously adjust the plan and your wishes for life as a pensioner,” he said.

“This way you ensure that you are always saving the right amount,” he added.

In addition to pension savings, assets can also take the form of property or funds such as a balance in a regular bank account, Helmer also noted.

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Danish government unveils major new early retirement plan

A new pensions model unveiled by the Danish government on Tuesday could enable as many as 38,000 people to take early retirement by 2022, the government said.

Danish government unveils major new early retirement plan
PM Mette Frederiksen presents the new pensions plan. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The figure is expected increase to 49,000 by 2025, the governing Social Democratic party said at a press conference. As many as 22,000 of the 38,000 are expected to take the opportunity to retire early.

The pensions reform is aimed at people in physically-demanding jobs who are approaching retirement age, and has been a central part of Social Democrat policy since the 2019 general election campaign.

“You should be able to stop working before you are worn down,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

“Pension life should be good. It should mean some good years with time to pursue your interests and be with your family. It should be a right,” she said.

The government proposal for the right to early pension applies to persons who have been on the labour market for at least 42 years by the time they reach the age of 61.

Included in the proposal is a ‘staircase’ model which allows pension to be taken 1 year early after 42 years of working, 2 years early after 43 years, and 3 years early after 44 years.

The pension will be 13,550 kroner monthly before tax, with the option of earning 24,000 kroner tax-free annually.

The pension, which can be supplemented with payouts from private pensions, is reduced for individuals with private pensions of over 2 million kroner.

Three billion kroner annually will be budgeted for the pension, according to the proposal.

Denmark’s current retirement age is 66 years, but it is scheduled to be gradually increased in the coming years.

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