Depending on their history of contributions and their age, insured individuals may apply for:
- old-age pension, from the age of 65; or
- early old-age pension from the age of 57 or 60.
Old-age pension is calculated based on the recognised years of pension insurance contributions, and the contributions paid into the pension insurance fund.
These 2 items of data, together, form the individual's insurance history.
Who is concerned
Any person may be covered by the general pension insurance scheme, provided they:
- engage in a professional activity in Luxembourg, be it as an employee or on a self-employed basis; or
- receive some form of replacement income, i.e. sickness benefits, maternity benefits, compensation for an occupational accident or unemployment benefits.
Old-age pension is payable from the age of 65 onwards.
Entitlement to an old-age pension is determined based on the following criteria:
- age – insured individuals must be at least 65 years old; and
- recognised years of insurance contributions – the insurance stage.
The insurance stage comprises the following periods which, in each case, must amount to at least 10 years:
- periods of mandatory or voluntary insurance contributions; and/or
- periods of retrospective purchase.
Further details on insurance periods can be found on the website of the CNAP – Insurance history and periods in Luxembourg.
A pension will not automatically be awarded, even if the insured satisfies all the conditions. They must apply to receive their pension.
If an insured:
- has only ever worked in Luxembourg: they may apply between 2 and 6 months prior to their pension start date;
- has been part of multiple pension schemes in Luxembourg over the course of their career: they may apply 6 months prior to their pension start date;
- has worked both in Luxembourg and in one or more foreign countries: it is best that they apply at least 6 months prior to the planned start date of their pension.
How to proceed
Filing the application in the country of residence
Residence in Luxembourg
If the insured is a resident in Luxembourg, they must apply to the National Pension Insurance Fund (Caisse nationale d’assurance pension – CNAP), with the necessary documents (certificates or diplomas, formal record of work history abroad, etc.).
If the insured, over the course of their career in Luxembourg, has been part of both the general pension scheme (private sector – CNAP) and the special pension scheme (government and communes), they must apply to the body responsible for the scheme they were last registered with.
If the insured has worked both in Luxembourg and in one or more foreign countries, the CNAP is in charge of applying to the relevant pension schemes abroad on their behalf.
If the insured is not a Luxembourg resident, they must apply to the competent body in their country of residence. The foreign fund must then apply to the CNAP on the insured's behalf so that the insured can exercise their Luxembourg pension rights. The vast majority of Luxembourg's cross-border workers are in this situation.
Exception: an insured who is not a Luxembourg resident but has worked exclusively in Luxembourg over the course of their career may apply to the Luxembourg authorities.
Application processing time
The time taken to process a pension application will depend on the availability and the soundness of the required data. It may range from:
- a few weeks; to
- several months, if information needs to be obtained from abroad.
When the review is completed, the pension is either approved or rejected in a decision which may be appealed.
Old-age pension begins on the insured's 65th birthday, or on the day they satisfy the age and insurance-stage criteria.
Amount of pension
The old-age pension comprises:
- a component relating to the length of contribution, i.e. flat-rate allowances; and
- a component relating to the contributions paid, i.e. proportional allowances.
The calculation also includes adjustments for:
- the cost of living; and
- trends in wages on the employment market.
'Length of contribution' component: flat-rate allowances
Flat-rate allowances are awarded based on the length of contribution.
The length of contribution is calculated based on the duration of the periods of contributions to a pension insurance scheme, on a mandatory or voluntary basis, retrospectively purchased periods and additional periods up to a maximum of 40 years.
'Contributions paid' component: proportional allowances
Proportional allowances are awarded based on the contributions paid over the insured's insurance history.
The calculation formulae and examples can be found on the CNAP website: Calculation of pension amount.
A person in receipt of their old-age pension may still carry on a paid professional activity, without having their pension reduced or stopped.
Minimum and maximum amounts
Under no circumstances may an old-age pension be less than 90% of the reference amount if the insured has completed 40 years of insurance contributions. This sum is decreased by one 40th per missing year between the 20th and 39th years.
Note: The yearly value of the reference amount is set at EUR 2,085, with index number of 100 in 1984.
In order to be entitled to the minimum pension, the insured must have contributed for at least 20 years, including 10 years of mandatory, voluntary or purchased contributions.
The maximum amount is 5/6ths of the quintuple of the reference amount.
Payment of pension
- are made monthly and in advance; and
- cease to be paid at the end of the month in which the beneficiary dies.
The payment schedule for pensions can be viewed on the CNAP website.
Estimation of an old-age pension
The CNAP will not accept an application for a pension estimate if the applicant is under the age of 55. When they reach that age, applicants are advised to think back on periods of study or unpaid professional training, and periods spent working abroad, and have this information readily available. The insured must provide supporting documents (certificates or diplomas from the age of 18 onwards, formal records of insurance contributions made abroad, etc.).
The time required to process an application to estimate the level of a pension depends on the complexity of the application. Processing can take between 1 and 3 months, or even 6 months in particularly complex cases.
The record of insurance history in Luxembourg, which is sent to insured individuals annually, includes an estimation of pension due from the age of 55, taking account of their recorded contributions, but not of any additional periods.
To request an estimate, please use the contact form on the CNAP's website: eMail – CNAP.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
National Pension Insurance Fund1A, boulevard Prince Henri
Postal address :
Phone : (+352) 22 41 41-1Fax : (+352) 22 41 41-6443from 8.15 to 16.00 / Contact form: http://www.cnap.lu/accueil-mail/