Denmark revises early retirement pension for certain workers

Healthcare Innovation

Long-service employees in Denmark who have reduced work capacity could be eligible for a new type of early retirement disability pension scheme (Danish) — the Senior Pension. The scheme, which took effect on 1 Jan 2020, allows certain individuals to retire up to six years before the normal retirement age (currently, age 65 ½ years but gradually increasing to age 68 by 2030) due to poor health. The Senior Pension replaces the Senior Disability Pension scheme that had stricter eligibility requirements and allowed retirement up to five years before the normal retirement age.  


  • Eligibility criteria. Individuals who have worked 27 hours or more per week — for a minimum of 20 to 25 years in an occupation that involves mentally or physically demanding work — could be eligible for the Senior Pension.
  • Incapacity assessment. An employee must be formally assessed by a medical practitioner and deemed permanently incapable of working more than 15 hours per week in their current or most recent job. The Senior Pension could be suspended if the individual later works more than 15 hours per week, or if annual earnings (own or spouse) exceed certain limits.
  • Application and assessment. Municipalities are currently responsible for processing Senior Pension applications and assessing applicants. Those responsibilities will pass in 2021 to the ATP (Arbejdsmarkedets Tillœgspension) Group that administers the mandatory earnings-related pension.  

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Heine H. Olsen
by Heine H. Olsen

Principal, Mercer Health

Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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