A total of 572 Danes were receiving their pension in Thailand in 2018. Fifteen years earlier, in 2003, there were only 46 Danish pensioners in Thailand.
The 572 Danish pensioners are a small group among the 57.500 Danes who today receive their pension outside of Denmark. This number was around 25.000 pensioners fifteen years ago in 2003.
An article in the Danish daily Politiken has analysed the Danes receiving pension abroad based on a report from the Danish ATP – a pension scheme for Danish workers.
The article tries to dismiss the general image among Danes that pensioners living abroad are all sun tanned golf players living in the South of Spain wondering which restaurant they should choose for tonight’s dinner. They are also not immigrants who in their old age go back to their original home countries where the Danish pension will buy them a higher living standard.
The majority are ordinary Danish citizens who have moved just across the borders to our neighbouring countries Sweden, Germany and Norway. In particular Sweden, where a quarter of all the total amount of pension payments is disbursed. Not all recipients are Danish citizens. The average is 54 percent that are Danes – again mostly because of cross-border movements. In Thailand, 86,8 pct. of the recipients are Danish citizens.
Apart from Thailand, the USA has had an increase in Danish recipients of pension from 274 to 2.122 pensioners.
Danish pensioners abroad receive in average 48.810 Danish kroner per year – but with big variations according to number of years, they have worked in Denmark and other factors.
The largest average amount per pensioner – 74.844 Danish kroner per year – is paid out to pensioners in 3. countries like Thailand, Brazil and South Africa. Also here, there are big variations.
The Danes in Thailand can only receive the basic pension which for a single person amounts to maximum 80.736 kroner. If the person keeps living in Denmark and only visits Thailand part of the year, the amount is maximum 155.580 kroner for a single person according to the ATP analysis and max. 114.840 kroner for a pensioner living with a spouse.