SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

PENSIONS

But what does it all mean? How to decipher Sweden’s orange pension envelope

Over the next few weeks, orange envelopes will be sent out to people across Sweden with important information about your pension. The document can feel intimidating, but here's what you need to know in order to decipher it.

But what does it all mean? How to decipher Sweden's orange pension envelope
Understanding this brightly coloured document is the first step to making informed decisions about your financial future. Photo: Jennifer Glans/Pensionsmyndigheten

The exact contents of your orange envelope (or orange kuvert as it’s known in Swedish) are unique to you. The numbers depend on things like your own salary, years spent working, and pension policy.

The first page of the document shows how your general pension and any premium pension has changed over the past year; this is your årsbesked or annual summary. 

All figures are given both for your inkomstpension (income pension, into which 16 percent of your taxable income is paid each year) and premiepension (premium pension, an extra 2.5 percent which goes into funds). The figures for the inkomstpension are almost always quite a bit higher.

Together, these two accounts make up your allmän pension (general pension), which would be added to any occupational pension and/or private pension once you reach retirement age.

The document is sent out in Swedish, but you can see an example of the pension statement in English here, which you can then compare to your own (here’s the 2022 version in Swedish). Here’s a closer explanation of what the key terms mean:

Värde 

This means value, and you’ll see a value for the amount that was in your pension at the turn of the year (2020-12-31) and, at the bottom of the table, how much was in your pension at the end of 2021 (2021-12-31). 

Beslutad pensionsrätt

This figure is exactly how much you had earned in your income pension in the last declared tax year.

Arvsvinster

Pension capital for a deceased person is sometimes distributed among their next of kin. If that’s the case, the amount goes in this row, the title of which literally means “gains from inheritance”.

Administrations- och fondavgift

These are the administrative fees you pay for your pension accounts.

Värdeförändring

Literally “change in value”, this figure is based on income changes across all of Sweden, and it’s a set percentage each year.

Summa intjänad allmän pension

This is the key line on the first page, meaning “total accrued general pension”, which adds together both your income pension and premium pension. This is the figure that’s used to make your pension forecast, which are on the second page of the document. 

Din premiepension

Also on the first page, you’ll see a detailed breakdown of your premium pension. This shows which funds you have chosen to put this portion of your pension in, and how they have developed over the past year. 

You can choose up to five different funds for your premium pension if you want to – otherwise it goes by default into AP7 Såfa, the Seventh AP Fund (National Generation Management Option). The table shows the change in value (värdeutveckling) and the fees associated with each fund (fondavgift).

Den genomsnittliga pensionsspararen

This row of the table shows a fee and total change in value for “the average pension saver” in Sweden. That gives you a starting point for deciding if you’re happy with the current funds you have, or if you would like to change them.

Beslut om dina pensionsrätter

Onto the second page, and this shows how much you have earned towards your public pension during the last declared tax year (that’s 2020, since taxes for the year 2021 haven’t been declared yet). It shows your pensionable income (din pensionsgrundande inkomst), and how much you have earned towards both your income and premium pensions.

The orange envelope does not show the occupational pension which is provided by many employers in Sweden, or any private pension you are saving towards.

If you have more questions about how you can maximise and keep track of your Swedish pension, however long you plan to stay here, check the articles below: 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WORKING IN SWEDEN

CHECKLIST: Here’s what you need to do if you move away from Sweden

What authorities do you need to inform before you leave, are you liable to Swedish tax and how can you access your Swedish pension? Here's a checklist.

CHECKLIST: Here's what you need to do if you move away from Sweden

Tell the relevant authorities if you’re leaving for more than a year

If you’re planning on leaving Sweden for more than a year, you will have to let the authorities know. The main authorities in question are Skatteverket (the Tax Agency) and Försäkringskassan (the Social Insurance Agency).

Försäkringskassan

You have to tell Försäkringskassan when you leave so they can assess whether or not you still qualify for Swedish social insurance. As a general rule, you aren’t eligible for Swedish social insurance if you move away from Sweden, but there are exceptions, such as maternity or paternity benefits if you’re moving to another EU country.

This also applies to any family members who move with you – any over-18’s should send in their own documentation to Försäkingskassan about their move abroad. If you’re moving abroad with anyone under 18, you can include them in your own report to Försäkringskassan.

If both legal guardians are moving abroad together, both need to include any children in their application. If one legal guardian is moving abroad and the other is staying in Sweden, you need the guardian staying in Sweden to co-sign your application. If you are the sole legal guardian of any under-18’s travelling with you, you don’t need any documentation from the other parent.

You can register a move abroad with Försäkringskassan on the Mina sidor service on their website, here (log in with BankID).

Skatteverket

If you are moving abroad for a year or longer, you also need to tell the Tax Agency. This also applies if you were planning on moving abroad for less than a year but ended up staying for longer.

If you move to another Nordic country, you will also need to register your move with that country’s authorities if you will be there for six months or more. You’ll be deregistered from the Swedish population register the same day you become registered in another Nordic country’s register.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your personnummer – you’ll still be able to use it if you ever move back to Sweden – but you will no longer be registered as resident in Sweden.

Similarly to Försäkringskassan, you will also need to report any children you are bringing with you, and both legal guardians must sign the form, whether or not both guardians are moving abroad or not.

In some cases, you may still be liable to pay tax in Sweden even if you live abroad – particularly if you are a Swedish citizen or have lived in Sweden for at least ten years. This could be due to owning or renting out property in Sweden, having family in Sweden, or owning a business in Sweden.

You can tell the tax agency of your plans to move abroad here.

Contact your a-kassa, if relevant

If you are member of a Swedish a-kassa (unemployment insurance), make sure you tell them that you’re leaving the country. As a general rule, you have unemployment insurance in the country you work in, so you will most likely have to cancel your a-kassa subscription.

If you are moving to another country with the a-kassa system, such as Denmark or Finland, it may pay to wait until you have joined a new a-kassa in that country before you cancel your membership in Sweden.

This is due to the fact, in some countries, you only qualify for benefits once you fulfil a membership and employment requirement. In Sweden and Denmark, you must have been a member for 12 months before you qualify. In Finland, the membership requirement is 26 weeks.

If you qualify for a-kassa in Sweden before you leave the country, you may be able to transfer your a-kassa membership period over to your new a-kassa abroad and qualify there straight away, but this usually only applies if your period of a-kassa membership is unbroken.

Check what applies in your new country before you cancel your membership in Sweden – your a-kassa should be able to help you with this.

Contact your union, if relevant

Similarly, if you are a member of a Swedish union or fackförbund, let them know you’re moving abroad.

If you’re moving to another Nordic country, they might be able to point you in the direction of the relevant union in that country, if you want to remain a member of a union in your new country.

If you’re moving to another EU country, you may be able to remain a member of your Swedish union as a foreign worker with the status utlandsvistelse.

If you chose to do this, you will usually pay a lower monthly fee than you do in Sweden, and they can still provide assistance with work related issues – although it may make more sense to join a local union in your field with more knowledge of the labout market.

If you don’t want to be a member of a union in your new country and don’t want to be a member of a Swedish union, you should contact your  union and ask them to cancel your membership.

Collect relevant documents regarding your Swedish pension

If you have worked in Sweden and paid tax for any length of time, you will have paid in to a Swedish pension. You retain this pension wherever you move, but you must apply for it yourself.

To do so, you will need to give details of when you lived and worked in Sweden, as well as providing copies of work contracts, if you have them. If you have these documents before you leave Sweden, make copies so that you can provide them when asked.

If you move to the EU/EES or Switzerland, you may also have the right to other, non-work based pensions, such as guarantee pension for low- or no-income earners, or the income pension complement (inkomstpensionstillägg).

Currently, you can receive your Swedish pension once you turn 62 – although there is a proposal in parliament due to raise pension age to 63 for those born after 1961 from 2023, so this may change.

SHOW COMMENTS