Social Security in Norway

When we think of Norway, the images of beautiful fjords come to mind immediately. Indeed, Norway is a stunning Scandinavian country and one of the best places to live in the world. Like Denmark and Sweden, Norway is among the nations with the best quality of life. Their social security is more organized than in many other countries. That’s exactly the main topic of this article. Scroll down to see what’s social security like in Norway.


In Norway, a person can claim unemployment benefits if they’ve become wholly unemployed or their working hours decrease by 50%. If you lost the job due to your own mistake, you might need to wait a while to claim unemployment benefits.

To claim unemployment benefits, you must either have income from paid work of minimum 1.5G (such as NOK 145,250 at the current Basic Amount) during the previous calendar year or 3G (such as NOK 290,499 at the current Basic Amount) during the previous three years.

Like in Denmark and Sweden, it’s important to be an active job-seeker in Norway and get registered at the national employment service NAV.

The unemployment benefits in Norway amount to up to 62.4% of the previous income.


Norway has a maternity and paternity benefit, which ensures 100% of covered earnings paid for 49 weeks. Also, 13 weeks of the total benefit period is reserved for the mother and ten weeks for the father.

When it comes to family social security benefits in Norway, there is a family allowance or child benefit for children under the age of 18. Norway also has the cash-for-care for families with young children, i.e., the monthly allowance paid for children and adopted children from the moment they turn 13 months to 23 months who haven’t started school.


A common misconception is that healthcare in Norway is free for all. However, the reality is a tad different. Residents of Norway must pay for all treatment, including standard consultations with their GP. That being said, when a person reaches the annual expenditure limit (over 2000kr), they are eligible for the exemption card. This card allows them to receive free treatment over the remainder of the year. 

Children or adolescents younger than 16 have free healthcare, but they’re expected to pay the above-mentioned costs once they reach adulthood. Pregnant women receive free healthcare in Norway.

While the system is constructed in a way where everyone pays little, the sick are not overburdened. 


You can claim a pension in Norway once you reach 67 or 62 if you have enough accruals. You need to be a member of the National Insurance Scheme for at least three years between the ages of 18 and 66. 

Different types of pensions are available in Norway, including:

  • Old retirement pension
  • Basic pension
  • Supplementary pension
  • Guarantee pension
  • Earnings-related pension

We can divide pensions in Norway to state pensions, occupational pensions, and individual or personalized pensions. When it comes to state or basic pensions, they are available to all residents of Norway, ages 67 or older. The state pension is paid in full to people who have lived in Norway for at least 40 years after the age of 16. The requirement is only 30 years for most civil servants. In any case the 20 best paid years will determine how big the pension will be.

The eligibility for supplementary pension requires working in Norway for at least 40 years. If you worked less than that, then the pension is going to be decreased accordingly. 

The minimum pension level in Norway is set by a parliament and depends on the marital status and income of the spouse or cohabitant.

Like many other countries, Norway also has a survivor’s pension program where up to 100% of the base amount is paid to the surviving spouse.

So what to think about all this?

The biggest characteristic of social security in Norway is the relatively easy access to the benefits. Various programs have their own set of criteria, so if you’re living in Norway, make sure to read up on the detailed requirements so that your claim is backed up with necessary documentation. ‘

The greatest advantage of social security in Norway is a well-structured organization that allows all residents of this country to claim their benefits and obtain equal access to their rights.