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Ongoing project


New Pension System: Legitimacy, Behavioural Effects and Sustainability.

Project period 2018 - 2021
Project employer Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet
Project nr. 10328
photo of girl looking into a binocular

Illustration:, ISF.

Project Dissemination

The latest news from the project can be found on (in Norwegian).

Project Background

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs wanted to establish a long-term research contract on the issues of old age pension and labour market activity among seniors. The background is the pension reform that was implemented in Norway in 2011, and the corresponding changes in occupational pension schemes and other benefit arrangements. The Ministry wants to know more about key issues such as how employers and employees adapt to the new system, how the new pension system redistributes between different groups, and the extent to which the population knows and supports the new rules for old age pensions.

Project Organization

PensjonsLAB is established to accommodate the Ministry's requests for research-based knowledge. The project is a collaborative effort between the Institute of Social Research, Fafo, Frischsenteret and Statistics Norway. The project runs for several years, and we will maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Ministry throughout the period. We will also, to a greater degree than in traditional research projects, emphasize communication and dissemination.


The work is organized in five themes:

  1. System features and system changes
    Under this topic we will study issues related to the overall system, such as how the different elements of the new retirement system play together or counteract each other. We will also do small comparative studies where key elements of the new Norwegian system are compared with similar measures in other countries.
  2. Adaptations on the employee side
    Key issues in this area are how older workers adapt to the labor market. How common is it for seniors to change jobs? How many combine part-time work and retirement? To what extent do employees remain in demanding jobs despite health problems and reduced capacity to work? We will also study the relationship between public pensions and private savings, and seek to investigate whether increased employment among seniors should be seen in connection with declining employment rates among the young.
  3. Adaptations on the employer's side
    The pension reform, and the increased emphasis on getting more people to work longer, also has an impact on employers. As part of this topic we will investigate the importance of active measure to retain older workers at the firm level. We will further look at the importance of age limits for job protection, and on variations at the firm level in the demand for occupational pensions.
  4. Distribution and incentives effects
    There is a great deal of knowledge about the distribution effects of the new National Insurance Pension, but we know less about the overall distribution effects when the occupational pensions are also taken into account. To map the effects of the system as a whole will be central to this theme. Will we find that the new system redistributes most to those who initially have the least - even when we include occupational pensions? This will be analyzed both with regard to how the system redistributes at a given point in time (cross-sectional) and in a lifetime perspective.
  5. Information and attitudes
    Major social policy reforms cannot be maintained over time if they are not supported by the general population. Under this theme, we will look at what the population knows about the new retirement system and what they think of its core principles.


The different themes will be illuminated by different methods and forms of data. We have access to both register data and a number of surveys, conducted at different times and in different populations. An original survey will also be conducted under theme 5, on knowledge and attitudes.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Anne Skevik Grødem Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 920 56 232
Ragni Hege Kitterød Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 950 50 375
Jon M. Hippe (Fafo)
Tove Midtsundstad (Fafo)
Roy A. Nielsen (Fafo)
Ståle Østhus (Fafo)
Erik Hernæs (Frischsenteret)
Simen Markussen (Frischsenteret)
Knut Røed (Frischsenteret)
Nils Martin Stølen (SSB)
Elin Halvorsen (SSB)
Jia Zhiyang (SSB)
Tom Kornstad (SSB)
Dennis Fredriksen (SSB)
Tags: Welfare, Working Life
Published Jan. 4, 2019 2:49 PM - Last modified Jan. 4, 2019 2:54 PM