Pension accrual in the National insurance system make up 81 per cent of total pension wealth, which is the same level as in previous years. In the private sector, the share of defined contribution schemes is increasing, while the share of benefit schemes is falling. Average pension wealth was around NOK 3,164,000 in 2020, which is a nominal increase of 2 percent since 2019. Average pension wealth increase most in private defined contribution schemes, while average wealth in the public sector have decreased because of a regulatory change in 2020 where more people with short accrual has entered the scheme.
Although the benefit schemes in the private sector still make up a lion’s share of the pension assets in total value, there is a relatively small proportion of people who have such rights. Since defined contribution pensions now cover far more employees than defined benefit pensions, and is the scheme that grows the most, we have looked more closely at how contribution rates are distributed. In the private sector, we find a connection between wage level and contribution rate in the various industries, where industries with high wage levels also have high contribution rates and vice versa.
During the pandemic, many people saved extra for pensions through individual schemes. Therefore, we have also taken a closer look at who used this opportunity to save additionally for retirement. We find that the possibility of individual pension savings with a tax advantage is used more by people who already have defined contribution schemes through their workplace than those with defined benefit schemes. At the same time, we find the highest savings rates for people who already have good pension schemes.
The last topic we study specifically in this report is the difference between men and women, that is, the gender gap defined as 1 minus women's pension wealth in proportion to men's pension wealth. The gender gap in pension wealth is 2 per cent when you compare men's and women's pension wealth in total over the retirement period, which is partly due to women living longer and thus having more expected years of pension. If we adjust for gender differences in life expectancy, the gap increases to 10 per cent. It is still less than the gender gap in pension income for today's pensioners of 23 per cent. It is therefore reasonable to assume that pension differences between women and men will decrease somewhat in the future.