Retirement pension and living abroad

As a rule, you will continue to receive your retirement pension after moving abroad. If you are moving abroad, it is still important that you check how this affects your pension and your right to health care in Norway and abroad.

Holidays and temporary stays abroad

If you live abroad for less than 12 months, you are still remain a member of the National Insurance Scheme. If you alternate between living in Norway and living abroad, to avoid losing membership of the National Insurance Scheme, you must stay in Norway for at least six months of each calendar year. It is the actual time you stay abroad, regardless of which registration office you are registered with, which is used when we assess whether you are still a member of the National Insurance Scheme.

Resident abroad

According to the provisions of the National Insurance Act, when you live abroad more than 12 months, you are deemed to be resident abroad. The same applies if for 2 or more consecutive calendar years you live abroad for more than 6 months of the year.

You are no longer a member of the National Insurance Scheme when you are deemed to be resident abroad.

Retirement pension when moving to an EEA country or other country with which Norway has a social security agreement

If you are moving to an EEA country or another country with which Norway has a social security agreement, you may continue to receive your Norwegian retirement pension. However, there are certain limitations in the right to receive Norwegian retirement pension abroad. This applies:

  • if you are a refugee
  • If you are receiving a pension with a young disabled person supplement.

The special benefits in the pension calculation these groups may have are not covered by the right to receive pension after moving from Norway.

Retirement pension when moving to a country with which Norway has no social security agreement

If you are living or intending to live in a country with which Norway has no social security agreement, you can continue to receive your Norwegian retirement pension if you meet the following criteria.

If you are born before 1954 (old rules):

  • you must have lived in Norway for at least 20 years (actual periods you have lived in Norway).
  • and have supplementary pension, but have not lived in Norway for 20 years, you will receive a supplementary pension and basic pension for as many years as you have accumulated pension rights. The minimum pension level, special supplement and pension supplement are calculated in the same way.

If you are born after 1963 (new rules):

  • you can continue to receive your Norwegian retirement pension without any requirement related to period of National Insurance cover (periods you have lived or worked in Norway).
  • You can continue to receive your guarantee pension if you have accumulated at least a 20 years of National Insurance cover.

If you are born between 1954 and 1963, you will receive your Norwegian retirement pension according to both the old and the new rules. You will receive a part that is calculated according to the old rules and a part that is calculated according to the new rules.

Irrespective of when you were born, there are limitations in the right to receive retirement pension abroad for certain groups. This applies:

  • if you are a refugee
  • If you are receiving a pension with a young disabled person supplement.

The special benefits in the pension calculation these groups can have are not covered by the right to receive pension after moving from Norway.

Notify changes

When you move abroad, you must

  • notify NAV
  • notify the National Population Register

We would like to point out that when moving abroad, you must contact the Norwegian Tax Administration about tax liability to Norway.

If you are receiving retirement pension and there are changes in your family situation, or your spouse or cohabiting partner's income, these may affect the retirement pension you receive from NAV.

In such cases, you must notify NAV immediately.

You must also notify NAV if you move back to Norway.  

Payments

Your pension is paid as usual when you live abroad.

You can check payment dates at NAV's online service “Dine utbetalinger”.

You may also check your payments on NAV's online pension service at Din pensjon. If you want to change your bank account details, you can do this under “Din pensjon”.

Cover of health care

If you move to another Nordic country, you will have rights when you are living in that country. You cannot then be a voluntary member of the National Insurance Scheme.

If you move to another EEA country, you are no longer a member of the National Insurance Scheme. On certain conditions, you may still receive cover for medical expenses. At helsenorge.no you can read more about coverage of medical expenses when you move to an EEA country.

If you move to a country outside the EEA, you are also no longer a member of the National Insurance Scheme. However, if you have voluntary membership of the National Insurance Scheme you can still receive cover for medical expenses. At helsenorge.no you can read more about coverage of medical expenses when you move to country outside the EEA.

What can you do to retain your membership in the National Insurance Scheme?

You can apply for voluntary membership in the National Insurance Scheme. You can obtain such membership if you have at least 30 year’s total membership in the National Insurance Scheme after turning 16, of which at least 10 years are immediately before you apply. Even if you do not meet these criteria, following a special assessment, you may still become a member if you have been a member of the National Insurance Scheme for at least three of the last five calendar years before the date of your application.

For AFP early retirement pensioners

If you are receiving an AFP early retirement pension and are living in another Nordic country, you have health care rights under the rules of the country in which you reside. AFP early retirement pensioners can also apply for voluntary membership of the National Insurance Scheme.

Certificate of existence for pensioners abroad

Like most other countries, the Norwegian social security authorities use certificates of existence to check pension recipients living abroad. This control measure reduces the risk of incorrect payments in connection with a death.  Those who are required to submit a certificate of existence will receive a certificate of existence form and an information letter in the post.

Other benefits from NAV

If you are receiving other benefits from NAV, you must check whether you can still receive these when you move abroad.


Most of the main information about your entitlements and duties is available here in English. There are also links to other more detailed information; however, some of this information is only available in Norwegian.