Anticipatory pension is awarded, if a person’s capacity for work is reduced to such an extent that it makes self-support impossible, even in a flexible working arrangement. Anticipatory pension is available to people aged 18 to 65.
Conditions for awarding anticipatory pension
Before a person becomes eligible for anticipatory pension, the options available for improving the applicant’s labour-market participation through rehabilitation, treatment, job activation or similar must have been exhausted.
The three basic conditions for receiving Danish social pension are that the recipient is a Danish national, has fixed residence in Denmark and has resided in Denmark for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 65.
Before and after the anticipatory pension reform
Up until January 2003, people could be awarded general, increased general, intermediary and highest anticipatory pension and disability pension. As of January 2003, only one pension type is awarded after a specific assessment of the applicant’s capacity for work.
Number of anticipatory pensioners
As of 1 January 2008, Denmark had 236,632 anticipatory pensioners, or roughly 7% of the population aged 18-65.
While the total number of anticipatory pensioners remained relatively stabled in the years 2001-2004, the number of whole-year recipients of anticipatory pension dropped by around 7,000 from 2004 to 2005. From 2005 to 2006, the number of whole-year recipients dropped by around 11,000 and from 2006 to 2007 by around 3,000. The trend reflects the decrease in the old schemes, under which no award procedures have been launched since 2003 - i.e. general, intermediate or highest anticipatory pensions. Cases launched after 1 January 2003 will be processed according to the provisions of the new anticipatory pension scheme, so the number of people in such arrangements is increasing.
The total drop in the number of whole-year recipients since 2004 is to some extent a result of the lowered age limit for old-age pension from 67 to 65. At the same time, the level of whole-year recipients reflects previous years’ level of award, which level was significantly higher than today’s.
Expenditure on anticipatory pension
In 2007, expenditure for anticipatory pension came to around DKK 35bn (2008 prices). In the period 2001-2007, expenditure remained at a fairly stable level around DKK 35bn (2008 prices).
From 2001 to 2002, the number of pension awards rose from around 15,000 to around 17,400. The increase may be a result of the case work in local authorities being influenced by the imminent reform.
In 2003, a fair number of anticipatory pensions was awarded under the previously applying rules, which fact reveals that many cases had been initiated by the end of 2002.
In 2004, the award level came to around 15,500, of which around 350 were awarded according to the old anticipatory pension scheme. In 2005, the level dropped slightly in that anticipatory pension was awarded to around 14,500 people – with only 50 awards relating to the old scheme.
In 2006, the award level dropped to around 14,300, and further in 2007 to around 12,100. The low award level of 2007 is presumably rooted in the implementation of the local government reform, as indications show that the low level will not be carried over to 2008.