Udenlandske medarbejderes pensionsforhold

Muligheder for valg af pension for udlændinge er beskrevet på den engelske side.

For udenlandske medarbejdere, som universitetet beskæftiger i Danmark, skal universitetet som hovedregel betale ATP-bidrag (læs mere på atp.dk). 

For udenlandske statsborgere, har det betydning, om de er statsborgere i et EØS-land eller i andre lande:

Lønmodtagere, der har statsborgerskab i et EØS-land

Som udgangspunkt skal der betales til den danske ATP-ordning for disse lønmodtagere. Hovedreglen er, at det er beskæftigelseslandets lovgivning om social sikring, der gælder for lønmodtageren. 

Lønmodtagere, der har statsborgerskab i andre lande end EØS

Hovedreglen er, at der skal betales til den danske ATP-ordning for disse lønmodtagere. 

Universitetet skal dog ikke betale til ATP, medmindre andet er bestemt i en konvention med det pågældende land, hvis:

  • lønmodtageren er ansat her i landet i højst 6 måneder, eller
  • lønmodtageren er beskæftiget her i landet i uddannelsesøjemed, og opholdet varer maks. 18 måneder.

3 pension schemes to choose from

International academic staff members have 3 different options of pension scheme.
You need to decide which scheme you wish to be on before starting your work at Aarhus University.

  • Ordinary Pension Contributions Scheme - option for all international staff members employed according to the collective agreement for academics 
  • International Pension Scheme (taxed immediately when transferred to your pension fund) - option for some academic staff members employed in accordance with the collective agreement for academics
  • Pension Exemption (pension contribution paid out as salary) - for a period of maximum 5 years - option for some international researchers employed by the university on a fixed term contract

Ordinary Pension Contribution Scheme

According to the collective agreement that covers all academic staff, the university will transfer a monthly pension contribution to the relevant pension fund calculated at 17.1 % of the base salary plus pensionable supplements.

Your pension contributions under the pension scheme are made with the intention of   saving capital for your future and as an insurance policy that comes into effect from the first day of your employment.

Do I have to pay tax on my pension contributions?

In Denmark, pension contributions are exempt from taxation when they are paid into the pension fund. This means that you will not need to pay tax on pension contributions transferred to your pension fund. Instead, tax will be deducted when you request for your pension savings to be paid out.

If you choose to take out your pension savings when your employment ends, the current taxation rate and administration fee is approximately 60%. If you choose to take out your pension savings when you reach the age of retirement, the taxation rate will depend on your tax situation and the prevailing pension tax legislation at that time.

The insurance coverage consists of:

  • Disability insurance which will provide you with financial security should you lose your ability to work.
  • Partner/children’s pension which will provide your family with financial security in the event of your untimely death.

The insurance cover in relation to the ordinary pension contribution is flexible and can be arranged to match your personal situation.

For more information, you will need to contact your pension fund.

International Pension Scheme

Under this scheme, the university will transfer a monthly pension contribution to the relevant pension fund, calculated at 17.1 % of your base salary plus pensionable supplements.

How will my pension be taxed?

However, when the pension contribution is transferred to your pension fund every month, it will be taxed immediately as salary according to your current tax status. This means that every month you will pay income tax on the monthly pension contribution.

First, you will be taxed 8 % as a labour market contribution. If you are under the researcher taxation scheme with a flat tax rate of 27% (not applicable for PhD fellows), the remaining pension contributions (after the deduction of the labour market contribution) will be taxed 27%. If you are under the ordinary taxation rules, the remainder of the pension contributions (after the deduction of the labour market contribution) will be taxed appropriately according to your taxation status as stated on your tax card.

In return (and as a rule), there will be no tax charge when your pension fund pays out your pension savings at retirement, in contrast to the ordinary pension contribution scheme outlined above.  

Furthermore, if you leave Denmark and choose to have a cash pay-out of your pension savings before retirement, this payment will not be subject to government duties.

However, if, due to special circumstances, you do not pay tax to the Danish state on the transferral of pension contributions to an International Pension Scheme according to section 53 A, and you retire in Denmark, you must expect that the payments from the pension fund at retirement will be taxed.

In order to be eligible for the International Pension Scheme:

  • You must be employed in accordance with the Collective Agreement concerning Academic Staff employed by the State
  • You must have a degree within one of the fields represented by the pension funds MP, P+ or Sampension:

 Degrees represented by MP:

  • The Humanities
  • Natural science/sciences
  • Social studies
  • Social science
  • Medical science
  • Health sciences

Degrees represented by Sampension:

  • Architect
  • MSc in Agricultural Science
  • MSc in Horticultural Science
  • MSc in Landscape Architecture
  • MSc in Agricultural Science

Degrees represented by P+:

  • Master of economics, political and social science or if you are a lawyer
  • Degree as engineer

Pension Exemption

It is possible for some international researchers employed by the university to be exempted from paying pension contributions. If you choose pension exemption you will be covered  by the Danish State Group Life Insurance. Read more about the Group Life Insurance Scheme (pdf)

Pension exemption means that an amount equivalent to the pension contribution, calculated at 17.1 % of your base salary plus pensionable supplements, will be paid out together with your monthly salary. After deduction of the Danish state group life insurance premium (monthly DKK 108.35), this amount will be taxed according to your current income taxation status, whether you are covered by the researcher taxation scheme of a flat rate of 26 % (not eligible for PhD fellows) or taxed on the basis of an ordinary Danish tax card.

In order to be eligible for pension exemption, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Employment as a researcher, research assistant, PhD fellow, postdoc, assistant professor,  associate professor or professor
  • Non-Danish citizenship
  • Fixed-term employment – maximum of five years
  • Recruited from outside of Denmark (if recruited from an (un)employment in Denmark you are not recruited from outside of Denmark. If you go directly from earlier state employment in Denmark with pension exemption, you can maintain the scheme for a maximum of 5 years.)

Important information about pension exemption and group life insurance

If your employment as a researcher at the University is extended, or if you change your place of employment from Aarhus University to another Danish university without any slip, the pension exemption will remain in effect for a maximum total term of five years (six years if agreed with your trade union representative and your department).

The pension exemption agreement cannot be retroactive. This means that any pension contribution already made by the university to the relevant pension fund is irreversible.

If the employment term continues beyond the five-year limit or if the employment term is changed to permanent employment, a choice, if any, of group life insurance will be cancelled and pension contributions will be paid to the pension fund pursuant to the rules thereon set out in the collective agreement.

Existing members of academic staff can also opt to have the pension contribution paid out as salary for the remaining part of their fixed term employment; however, for a maximum of five years. A decision to have the pension contribution paid out as salary will come into effect as of the next possible salary payment. Existing employees choosing to have the pension contribution paid out as salary do not have the option of having contributions already paid towards the pension scheme refunded.

International administrative staff members cannot opt to have their pension contribution paid out as salary.

Please be aware that pension exemption does not include the same insurance as the Ordinary Pension Contribution Scheme and the International Pension Scheme according to Section 53 A of the Pension Taxation Act.

For more information see Government circular of 17 June 2016 on pension exemption (in Danish)

What to do once you’ve read about the 3 options

Your HR department will ask you which scheme you wish to be on before you receive your work contract. They will ask you to fill out a form to choose pension schemes. The form should be filled out and returned to your HR partner before your employment begins.

Download application form (pdf)

Consider adding private insurance coverage

If you choose pension exemption instead of the ordinary pension contributions, you should be aware that you will not benefit from the insurance coverage that comes with the ordinary pension scheme. It is therefore advisable that you consider taking up additional private insurance. You will only be covered by the mandatory group life insurance policy, which provides basic insurance in the event of critical illness or death.

Read more about insurance coverage on the pension exemption scheme

You should also keep in mind that by using the pension exemption scheme you will not be making any savings towards your retirement.

Can I change from one scheme to another?

If you choose one scheme and want to amend your choice at a later date (maximum 5 years in total), you must inform the relevant HR department. They will then register the change, which will take effect from the following month’s salary payment. Keep in mind that retroactive changes are impossible.

Aarhus University’s recommendation

Pension is a very important matter, and AU recommends that you obtain individual counselling from the relevant pension fund and from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration (the Danish Taxation Authorities) regarding your pension taxation based on your specific, individual circumstances.

Upon reviewing the different options, you are requested to inform the university which option you wish to make use of. Please note that there are certain requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for the different schemes.


The information about pension schemes on this page does not constitute and cannot replace individual legal counselling. AU strives to ensure that the information about pension schemes provided here is correct, but takes no accountability for mistakes or deficiencies.