Compulsory occupational pension

Most employers are required to set up an occupational pension scheme for their employees. A compulsory occupational pension (OTP) is a pension scheme which is funded by the employer setting aside an agreed proportion of the employee's salary as savings.


The following are covered by this obligation:

  • Businesses with at least two employees who both have working hours and a salary amounting to 75% or more of a full-time position.
  • Businesses with at least one employee who has no owner interests in the enterprise and whose working hours and salary amount to 75% or more of a full-time position.
  • Businesses with employees who have working hours and salary amounting to 20% or more of a full-time position, provided that they collectively carry out work corresponding to at least two full-time equivalents.

When an employer is obliged to set up an occupational pension scheme, all employees aged 20 or over with a full-time equivalent percentage of 20 or more must be registered as members from their first working day. The pension scheme must be set up within six months after the obligation to establish an occupational pension scheme was triggered. If you as employer do not set the scheme up by the relevant deadline, you will have to make the payments that should have been made in accordance with the law retrospectively. This is normally the date on which the employee was appointed. The business will be entitled to tax deductions for payments to the pension scheme. Employer's National Insurance contributions must be calculated on the pension payments and costs linked to the agreement.

Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway on compulsory occupational pensions (in Norwegian only)

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on occupational pensions (in Norwegian only)

Various types of compulsory occupational pension schemes (OTP)/pension schemes

The Act on obligatory occupational pension states that the scheme must be either defined contribution-based or benefit-based. It is up to the employer to decide which type of scheme should be set up.

Act on compulsory occupational pensions (the OTP Act) (in Norwegian only)

Defined contribution pensions

In the case of a defined contribution pension scheme, annual contributions are determined as a percentage of salary. Pension disbursements will depend on the contributions to the pension fund and the return generated on the fund.

Act on defined contribution pension schemes in employment relationships (in Norwegian only)

Defined benefit pensions

The aim of a defined benefit pension scheme (company pension) is a predetermined level of combined pension which also takes account of the pension from the Norwegian National Insurance scheme. The premiums will vary from year to year and increase following pay rises.

Company Defined Benefit Pension Act (in Norwegian only)

Occupational pensions

An occupational pension is a combination of defined contribution and defined benefit pensions. During the period of accrual, the employer must build up the members' pension fund through annual contributions determined as a percentage of salary. The pension fund guarantees fixed pension payments from retirement age.

Occupational Pension Act (in Norwegian only)

For more information, contact an insurance company that offers pension schemes.

Voluntary defined contribution pension scheme for self-employed persons and freelancers

If you are self-employed and have no employees (owner of a sole proprietorship or partner in a general partnership) or a freelancer, you can choose whether you want to set up an occupational pension scheme. If you enter into an agreement concerning a defined contribution pension scheme, you can pay up to 7% of your annual business income between 1 G and 12 G (National Insurance basic amounts) into the pension scheme. The business will be entitled to tax deductions for payments into the pension scheme. Employer's National Insurance contributions should not be calculated.

National Insurance basic amounts (G) (in Norwegian only)

Own pension accounts

Rules concerning own pension accounts are in effect as of 1 January 2021. 'Own pension account' means that employees of companies with a defined contribution pension scheme must have their pension accruals from previous employment (pension capital certificates/statement of pension assets) combined and managed together with pension capital which the employee accrues with their current employer.

Employees may opt out of this arrangement or choose another self-selected pension provider to manage their pension account.

During February 2021, employees will receive information from the company's pension provider on the employee's pension capital certificates which will be transferred to their own pension account and the pension provider which manages them. The employee will also receive information from other pension providers who manage pension capital certificates on behalf of the employee.

Employees will have three months to decide whether they wish to opt out of the transfer. The deadline is set to 1 May 2021.

At the request of the pension provider which manages the company's pension scheme, you as an employer must provide your employees' contact details (e-mail address, mobile phone number or postal address). The pension provider may only use these contact details to provide employees with information and advice about their own pension account to which the employee is entitled under the Defined Contribution Pension Act.

The Norwegian government on own pension accounts from 2021 (in Norwegian only)

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