Recipients of retirement pension

Updated: 30 June 2020

Next update: 5 July 2021

Resident recipients of retirement pension

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

About the statistics

The statistics provide an overview of retirement pension recipients pursuant to the regulations of the National Insurance Scheme. A core part of the statistics is the description of retirement pension recipients according to various identifiers, as well as their attachment to the labour market.

Resident. The statistics cover persons who were registered in the Central Population Register as resident in Norway as of 31 December. The Act of Population Registration of 16 January 1970 (with subsequent amendments) and associated regulations from 1994 set out the criteria for classification as a resident in Norway. The total number of residents in an area is also referred to as the population.

Information on place of residence, gender and age are retrieved from the Central Population Register. Information on place of residence and age relates to the end of the statistical year.

Retirement pension paid through the National Insurance Scheme provides financial support to the elderly population, and enables a gradual transition from work to retirement. The amount of retirement pension paid depends on previous income and the number of years the recipient has lived in Norway. Everyone is guaranteed a minimum pension level, including those who have not worked. After the introduction of the pension reform on 1 January 2011, different rules apply depending on when a recipient was born. For more information on these rules, see

Recipients of retirement pension are persons who, following a positive decision, are in receipt of a retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme for at least one month during a given year. The vast majority of the tables in the statistics only cover recipients of retirement pension who are residents of Norway (see separate definition). Two of the tables include recipients of retirement pension who are not resident and give breakdowns that distinguish between resident and non-resident. Persons receiving retirement pensions from other schemes, such as occupational pensions in the private or public sector, are only included if they also have a positive decision concerning a retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme.

New recipients if retirement pension are persons with a decision on retirement pension in month m during the year, but without a decision in month m-1. In cases where m represents January, m-1 will represent December in the preceding year.

Work-intensity is a measure of the degree of employment as a wage earner whilst receiving retirement pension. The measurement requires receipt of retirement pension and employment as a wage earner to have occurred in the same month and is calculated as ‘the number of months in which income from work and retirement pension is received / the number of months that retirement pension is received’. The results are shown as None (no months where both conditions occur), Low (employed for at least one but less than half of the months when retirement pension was received), High (employed for more than half but not all months when retirement pension was received) and Full (employed in all months when retirement pension was received).

Wage earners are defined as persons who performed paid work, with compensation in the form of wages or similar, for at least one hour in the reference week, as well as persons who had such work but were temporarily absent due to illness, holiday leave, paid leave or similar. Persons undertaking military or civilian national service are considered to be in employment. Persons on government employment initiatives who receive wages from an employer are also classified as employees. This follows the recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Statistics Norway’s statistics use the terms ‘employee’ and ‘wage earners’ interchangeably. Note that the self-employed are not therefore measured in terms of work intensity in these statistics.

See also About the statistics at

Pension level reflects the percentage of retirement pension drawn. Persons born after 1943 – and some born in 1943 – have the option to draw 20, 40, 50, 60, 80 or 100 per cent of their pension. Some tables also distinguish between the percentage drawn by recipients of retirement pension with a graduated retirement pension and persons without a graduated retirement pension. The percentage drawn can be changed throughout the year, and where this is the case, the tables show the highest registered percentage drawn throughout the year.

Immigrants are persons born abroad to two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents. Country of birth is normally the mother’s country of residence at the time of the person’s birth.

EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand include immigrants with the following countries of birth: Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, Andorra, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Lithuania, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Vatican City, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania, except Australia and New Zealand and Europe except EU/EEA include immigrants born in the following: Albania, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Asia, Africa, America excluding USA and Canada and Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Persons who were stateless at birth and with an unknown country of birth are also included.

Data on education relates to 1 October in the statistical year. In these statistics, a variant of the Classification of education is used, where the highest completed education is classified as follows:

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education 2016 forms the basis for this classification:

The classification of municipalities is in line with the list of municipalities as of 31 December in the relevant year.

Classification of municipalities:

Name: Recipients of retirement pension

Topic: Social conditions, welfare and crime

5 July 2021

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Most of the statistics are published at national level, but some are also published for counties and municipalities

Annual statistics. The census period is a full calendar year.

Publishing dates: see the statistics calendar.

Not relevant

Sources at an individual level are stored long term and documented.

Retirement pension under the National Insurance Scheme is an extensive welfare benefit both in terms of the number of recipients and costs. The purpose of the statistics is to provide a description of persons who have received retirement pension from the National Insurance Scheme, as well as certain identifiers associated with pension level and combinations of retirement pension and employment. Developments are followed over time through annual publications of the statistics. The statistics also aim to meet the need for municipality figures on the number and percentage of recipients.

Key users are various ministries and directorates, local and county authorities, as well as research and investigation communities. The general public and the media are also key users of these statistics.

Not relevant

NAV’s statistics on retirement pension,

NAV publishes quarterly statistics on the number of people receiving retirement pension. NAV’s statistics show how many people received retirement pension in a given month. Much of the source data for Statistics Norway’s statistics on retirement pension recipients is retrieved from NAV, and these statistics are also used by NAV. Differences in the measurement period mean that there are some discrepancies between NAV’s statistics and Statistics Norway’s statistics (see Definitions, Definitions of the main concepts and variables). In practice, Statistics Norway’s statistics will cover more recipients than NAV’s statistics because we count the number of recipients throughout the year.

Retirement pension recipients are also included as a group in existing income statistics (see, for example, table 09605 and 09607 in StatBank,, where the income from retirement pension over a year is aggregated.

Income statistics

The sources used for the register-based employment statistics are also the basis for tables on combinations of retirement pension and employment in these statistics. For further details of register-based employment, see Employment, register-based,

For statistics on the population’s level of education, see:


For statistics on immigrants, see:

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents,

Pursuant to Section 2-2 of Act no. 54 of 16 June 1989 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway, Statistics Norway will use the information for the production of official statistics.

Not relevant

Applies to persons who are registered with a positive decision and payment of retirement pension during a calendar year. Most of the statistics only include recipients who are registered as resident in Norway at the end of the year. The definition of resident in Norway is given under Definitions, Definitions of the main concepts and variables.

Data on benefits and pensions is retrieved from NAV. The information is obtained from NAV’s case processing system PESYS. See also information from NAV,

The information about employment is retrieved from the data source for register-based employment, ‘a-ordningen’:

A-ordningen is a coordinated digital collection of data on employment, income and tax deductions from the Norwegian Tax Administration, NAV and Statistics Norway. The scheme was introduced in 2015. Further details of the scheme are available at

Data on highest completed education is retrieved from the National Education Database (NUDB;

Data on gender, age, place of residence, immigrant category and reason for immigration is retrieved from various population statistics. See About the statistics, Production, Data sources and sampling for the following:

Population and population changes:

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents:

Immigrants by reason for immigration:

Statistics Norway receives annual personal data from NAV on receipt of benefits and pensions administered by NAV. The data contains monthly information about each individual, and Statistics Norway adapts the annual data for use in the statistics.

See also About the statistics, Production, Collection of data, editing and estimations for statistics listed under Data sources and sampling.

Not relevant

One of the aims of the statistics on retirement pension is to provide statistics with combinations of identifiers, as well as for small geographical areas. The information in the statistics must not be traceable to individuals. For reasons of privacy, therefore, it is necessary in many tables to ensure that combinations of variable values that only appear once or twice are not identifiable in tables. In table matrices, all 1s and 2s at the most detailed level for each are replaced with a 0 or 3. The numbers 0 and 3 also naturally occur, and the statistics must not show any difference between the two types of 0 and 3. Replacement is done in a way that ensures minimal effect on the figures that can be retrieved at a higher aggregated level. However, minor deviations from the original figures will, nevertheless, occur. These deviations will generally be very small and will not impair the utility value of the statistics. When the same table is created on the basis of two different matrices, small discrepancies between the tables may also occur.

Not relevant

Some minor deviations from original figures can occur due to rounding up/down, see Confidentiality.

Data on employment is retrieved from a-ordningen. The quality in the a-ordningen is good, but errors and omissions may still occur in the data. For more details, see the section on sources of error in About the statistics for the register-based employment statistics:, or About the statistics for Number of employments:

Not relevant