Why is the number of pensioners in Denmark decreasing?

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Why is the number of pensioners in Denmark decreasing?
A later retirement age means seniors in Denmark must wait linger before heading into retirement. Photo by Alan Billyeald on Unsplash

2021 saw a drop in the number people who receive Denmark’s folkepension state pension.


A reduction of 15,000 pensioners was recorded in a 12-month period by national agency Statistics Denmark, with a total of 1,077,000 in 2020 dropping to 1,062,000 last year.

That appears paradoxical given the trend towards higher life expectancies in Denmark.

But there are several reasons to explain the statistic, according to Anne-Louise Lindkvist, head of markets and customer consultation with pension fund Sampension.


“The trend is not least due to the retirement age increasing in recent years and that Danes generally stay on the labour market for longer and retire later,” she said.

The most recent change to Denmark’s retirement age, at which residents can claim the state pension, saw it increase by six months to 67 years on January 1st 2022.

Denmark’s welfare economy stands to benefit from more people drawing pensions at a later age, according to Lindkvist.

But it also impacts the private financial situations of individuals, she said.

“Later withdrawal from the labour market means a longer period of wage income and also more years spent paying into pensions, boosting pensions savings and thereby incomes during years as a pensioner,” she said.

The next planned change to Denmark’s retirement age will see it increase by another year to 68. That is scheduled to take effect in 2030.


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