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When you retire, you may receive a pension from the government and from your past employers. Any additional income is up to you to provide, so start saving as early as possible to increase your retirement income.

Pensions at a glance

  • Your pension is made up of three parts, one from National Insurance, one from your employer(s) and one from private savings
  • The new pension reform provides more flexibility and alternatives
  • Future pensions will be significantly smaller
  • For most people, private pension saving will be necessary

How can I save?

  • Find out about your employer's pension scheme
  • Get an estimate of your expected pension
  • Begin saving, the earlier the better
  • Pension savings should include both fixed -income funds and shares


What pension are you entitled to as an employee in Norway?

All employers in Norway are required to set up a pension plan for their employees.

If you have been living and working in Norway legally for at least twelve months you are normally a member of the Norwegian National Insurance scheme. There are two exceptions: 1) If you reside in Norway, but work permanently in a different country, and 2) if you have been posted by an employer in a different country to work in Norway for a limited period. On both these occasions you will be a social security member in the country where you are employed.

In order to earn full pension rights in Norway you must be a member of the Norwegian National Insurance scheme for 40 years. If you do not fulfil this requirement, you may contact your local NAV office to find out how you can apply for a supplementary pension.

Learn more about pension

National insurance pensions

The National Insurance Retirement Pension is your state pension from the government. For each year of employment, 18.1 % of your wages are transferred to your pension account. Pension entitlements can only be accumulated up to 7.1 G, or around NOK 605 000. The longer you work, the more you will accumulate in your pension account. If you choose early retirement you will have fewer accrual years and hence a smaller pension. When you retire, the amount accumulated is distributed among the expected number of years of your retirement.

As a result of the great pension reform we now have an increased number of alternatives. If you have accrued a large enough pension you can decide when to retire at any point between 62 and 75 years of age. You can also take out all or part of your pension while still working. This freedom comes at a price however, namely that most of those who retire in the future will get less than today’s retirees. Therefore, private pension savings are more important than ever.

Occopational pension schemes - your employer's contribution

An occupational pension is the pension you get from your employer. There are two types of occupational pension plans: defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution pension plans.

A defined benefit pension gives you a certain percentage of your salary when you retire, normally 66 per cent. It’s the sum of what you get from your National Insurance pension and what you get from your employer that makes up those 66 per cents. Employees in the public sector and some larger companies have defined benefit pensions.

A defined contribution scheme means that your employer saves a percentage of your salary each month. A mandatory occupational pension scheme (OTP) is the minimum requirement that all employers must have for their employers. If you have OTP, 2 per cent of your salary is put aside. The size of the pension you end up with depends on how much has been saved for you, the returns on your savings, and the number of years it will be paid out over.
The money is saved in a pension profile with separate equity and interest rate portions. You can select your own pension profile, and if you have many years before you retire you should choose a high equity portion. This gives you higher returns and more “bang for the buck”.

Learn more about defined contribution pension schemes

Private pension savings

Most of us need to start saving for our pensions in addition to this. How much you need to save depends on the lifestyle you want when you retire, how long you want to continue working and your employer’s pension scheme.

Your pension savings will be left untouched for many years. This means that you can make different choices with this money than you make with the money you save for a rainy day, or for your next summer holidays. It doesn’t matter so much if the total value fluctuates along the way, and this is why you should choose a mix of interest rate and equities. We recommend saving a fixed monthly amount. This way you buy shares in both good and bad times for the stock market. In bad times, you get cheaper shares and more value for your money. When the stock market improves, you benefit from the extra shares you could afford back then. When your get nearer to your retirement you should reduce your equity portion.