Accumulated pension entitlements in Norway


The estimated present value of Norwegian households’ total accrued-to-date pension entitlements in social insurance amounted to more than NOK 9 300 billon at the end of 2015.

The estimate comprises pension entitlements in both government social security (“folketrygden”) and in occupational pension schemes. The government social security pension entitlements represent 80 per cent of the entitlements in total, and the rest are entitlements in government and private occupational pension schemes. Individual life-insurance and pension contracts are not part of the estimated figure, as these contracts are not defined as pension schemes according to the international guidelines to the national accounts.

In comparison, the The Government Pension Fund Global was valued at NOK 7 500 billion at the same point in time, while Norway’s GDP in 2015 was NOK 3 100 billion, about one third of the estimated total pension entitlements at the end of that year. Compared to central government total expenditures, the estimated pension entitlements were almost eight times higher.

Figure 1. Central government total expenditures, GDP, Government Pension Fund Global and Pension entitlements. 2015

NOK billion
Central government total expenditures 1200
GDP 3500
Government Pension Fund Global 7500
Pension entitlements 9500

Statistics initiated by EU

The estimated figures on accumulated or accrued-to-date pension entitlements in social insurance in Norway are the results of a recent study performed by Statistics Norway, but initiated and partly financed by Eurostat , the statistical office of EU. The EU project is aiming at uncovering the pension entitlements in all European countries to improve international comparability between countries and regions within and outside the EU/EEA. A growing concern about the financing of future expenditures on pension benefits and the sustainability of government budgets partly constitutes the motivation behind the project. Here a reference can be given to the EU group «Working Group on Ageing Populations and Sustainability” (AWG).

Annual publication

Figures for Norway have been estimated for the year 2015 and the plan is to publish data annually to be presented in a separate supplementing table to the national accounts (Eurostat Table 29).

Accrued-to-date pension entitlements shall according to the international guidelines on national accounts be recorded as an item on the financial balance sheet of the household sector. This includes also pension entitlements in government non-funded pension schemes, labelled pay-as you-go schemes. In Norway the non-funded government pension schemes consists of the government social security scheme (“folketrygden”) and the Central government occupational scheme (“Statens pensjonskasse”).

Accumulated pension entitlements in government non-funded social security pension schemes are classified as contingent assets on the balance sheet of the households, reflecting that the conditions linked to such entitlements of a person is not something the person can influence directly. They are in the national accounts regarded less binding compared to normal debt obligations. Contingent assets are not identified and recorded as debt in the national accounts.

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