European Pension Comparison: Denmark

Denmark's State Pension

Danish flag Credit: Guz Alv/Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

For retirees to maintain a good standard of living how does each country vary when it comes to state pensions? EWN looks at Denmark

In Denmark, eligibility for the state pension primarily hinges on reaching the state pension age. Generally, Danish citizens are eligible, but non-citizens can also qualify under certain conditions.

This includes citizens from EU/EEA countries, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom who have accumulated at least three years of pension entitlement, with a minimum of one year in Denmark.

Additionally, non-citizens who have resided in Denmark for a minimum of ten years, from age 15 until retirement age, can qualify. Refugees with a residence permit are also eligible under specific conditions​​.

Retirement Age in Denmark

The retirement age in Denmark varies based on the individual’s birth date. For those born on or before December 31, 1953, the retirement age is 65. This age increases gradually, reaching 69 for individuals born on January 1, 1967, or later, according to

The retirement age is subject to future adjustments based on indexations. This system applies uniformly to both men and women, without any gender-based differentiation in retirement age​​.

Average State Pension Amount In Denmark

The Danish state pension amount depends on one’s marital status and economic situation. As of 2023, the basic pension amount for both single and married/cohabiting individuals is DKK 6,694 per month. Additionally, single individuals receive a pension supplement of DKK 7,745, while married/cohabiting individuals receive DKK 3,963.

The total monthly pension amounts to DKK 14,439 for singles and DKK 10,657 for married/cohabiting individuals. These amounts are not differentiated based on gender, ensuring equal payments for men and women​​.

Unique Policies of Danish State Pension

Denmark’s state pension system offers a unique feature: a tax-free allowance of DKK 122,004 per year. This allowance means the first DKK 122,004 earned per year through work does not affect one’s pension supplement, although it does not impact the basic pension amount or other incomes.

Furthermore, Denmark offers a heating supplement to assist pensioners with expenses related to electricity, gas, oil, and other fuels, aiding in managing living costs​​​​.

Denmark’s Comparison With UK And Spain

Statistics produced in October by Almond Financial gave the following European comparisons, known as the European Pension Breakeven Index. The study looked at 30 countries, their average monthly pensions balanced against the average monthly living costs, based on the recipient being mortgage-free.   

European Ranking Country Monthly Pension Monthly Living Costs Percentage Above/Below Breakeven Point
1 Spain €2,625.55 (£2,287.24) €644.35 (£561.43) 407.40%
8 Denmark €1,886.89 (£1,647.56) €968.85 (£846.09) 194.73%
16 UK €920.74 (£802.32) €789.66 (£688.04) 116.61%

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.