For members


But what does it all mean? How to decipher Sweden’s orange pension envelope

Over the next few weeks, orange envelopes will be sent out to people across Sweden with important information about your pension. The document can feel intimidating, but here's what you need to know in order to decipher it.

But what does it all mean? How to decipher Sweden's orange pension envelope
Understanding this brightly coloured document is the first step to making informed decisions about your financial future. Photo: Jennifer Glans/Pensionsmyndigheten

The exact contents of your orange envelope (or orange kuvert as it’s known in Swedish) are unique to you. The numbers depend on things like your own salary, years spent working, and pension policy.

The first page of the document shows how your general pension and any premium pension has changed over the past year; this is your årsbesked or annual summary. 

All figures are given both for your inkomstpension (income pension, into which 16 percent of your taxable income is paid each year) and premiepension (premium pension, an extra 2.5 percent which goes into funds). The figures for the inkomstpension are almost always quite a bit higher.

Together, these two accounts make up your allmän pension (general pension), which would be added to any occupational pension and/or private pension once you reach retirement age.

The document is sent out in Swedish, but you can see an example of the pension statement in English here, which you can then compare to your own (here’s the 2022 version in Swedish). Here’s a closer explanation of what the key terms mean:


This means value, and you’ll see a value for the amount that was in your pension at the turn of the year (2021-12-31) and, at the bottom of the table, how much was in your pension at the end of 2022 (2022-12-31). 

Beslutad pensionsrätt

This figure is exactly how much you had earned in your income pension in the last declared tax year.


Pension capital for a deceased person is sometimes distributed among their next of kin. If that’s the case, the amount goes in this row, the title of which literally means “gains from inheritance”.

Administrations- och fondavgift

These are the administrative fees you pay for your pension accounts.


Literally “change in value”, this figure is based on income changes across all of Sweden, and it’s a set percentage each year.

Summa intjänad allmän pension

This is the key line on the first page, meaning “total accrued general pension”, which adds together both your income pension and premium pension. This is the figure that’s used to make your pension forecast, which are on the second page of the document. 

Din premiepension

Also on the first page, you’ll see a detailed breakdown of your premium pension. This shows which funds you have chosen to put this portion of your pension in, and how they have developed over the past year. 

You can choose up to five different funds for your premium pension if you want to – otherwise it goes by default into AP7 Såfa, the Seventh AP Fund (National Generation Management Option). The table shows the change in value (värdeutveckling) and the fees associated with each fund (fondavgift).

Den genomsnittliga pensionsspararen

This row of the table shows a fee and total change in value for “the average pension saver” in Sweden. That gives you a starting point for deciding if you’re happy with the current funds you have, or if you would like to change them.

Beslut om dina pensionsrätter

Onto the second page, and this shows how much you have earned towards your public pension during the last declared tax year (that’s 2021, since taxes for the year 2022 haven’t been declared yet). It shows your pensionable income (din pensionsgrundande inkomst), and how much you have earned towards both your income and premium pensions.

The orange envelope does not show the occupational pension which is provided by many employers in Sweden, or any private pension you are saving towards.

If you have more questions about how you can maximise and keep track of your Swedish pension, however long you plan to stay here, check the articles below: 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


How this researcher in Luleå played a role in India’s moon landing

By the time Avijit Banerjee watched India's Chandrayaan-3 land on the south pole of the moon from his home in the far north of Sweden, he was no longer involved. But the landing algorithm he developed played a key role in the mission's success.

How this researcher in Luleå played a role in India's moon landing

Banerjee developed the algorithm for a guidance and autopilot system for a soft landing on the moon as part of his PhD at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, working closely with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

In the end, there wasn’t enough time to properly test the algorithm so it could be used in the unsuccessful Chandrayaan-2, which crashed in 2019 due to a software error. But it became an important part of Chandrayaan-3, which on August 23rd this year became the first human vehicle to land on the moon’s southern pole. 

“It was just a movie to us. We were watching it and enjoying the show,” Banerjee tells The Local, remembering the atmosphere among his colleagues – from India, Sweden, and elsewhere – at Luleå Technological University, on the day of the landing.

“But yes, I was deeply involved in that development process as part of my PhD. It was a giant collaboration in industry and academia, in collaboration with ISRO, and and the Indian Institute of Science, in the space department, where I did my PhD.”

Banerjee got his postdoc in Luleå only a few months after defending his PhD and jumped at the chance to work in the space robotics group led by Professor George Nikolakopoulos, which he describes as a “fantastic” team.  

“It’s not just an opportunity for me, it’s a privilege to be part of this team at LTU. So I took this opportunity to work in space robotics, which is a new frontier in space.”

It was the job that lured him to a part of Sweden where there are only three to four hours of daylight in winter, temperatures average -10C, and the surrounding waters turn to ice, particularly as his wife, who he met at the Indian Institute of Science, also managed to get a position at LTU. 

But he has found it easy to leave the pleasant Bangalore climate behind. 

“I find myself contented to be in such a nice place where there are much fewer people and more exposure to nature,” he says. “It’s the best place for a scientist you can possibly imagine. I find myself very comfortable. It is very close to nature, the people are very nice, and I have the exact opportunity that I was looking for. So it’s a perfect match.” 

He doesn’t even find the weather too difficult to handle. 

“Even though I’ve already been exposed to extreme cold weather by day, it is not that extremely cold inside the rooms. I mean, they are all heated,” he says. “And if you look at the nature, it is not that monotonous: when it comes to winter, it all gets white and when it comes to summer, it’s very colourful, and now autumn is even more colourful. So I find that this is very nice.” 

Not that he has taken up any of the outdoor sports, like cross-country skiing or hunting that are popular with locals. 

“I’m not really a sportsman. I’m a bit lazy,” he jokes. “But in my spare time, I visit some nearby lakeside areas. I walk around the place. There are many seating arrangements, and I sit there and enjoy the serenity, the beauty of nature there. That’s my favourite time.” 

He concedes that his Swedish is, as yet “not good at all” and only at a “very, very preliminary stage”. 

“But I will work to develop it, of course. There is a university course, which I got registered for, but I haven’t formally passed it yet, so I need to put a little more effort in. There are many other things to do, but of course, being here, I should know the language.” 

There are currently about 150 Indians living in and around Luleå, making it less than a tenth of the size of other Indian communities in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, or Helsingborg. But he feels he can see enough of his countrymen to feel attached to his roots. 

“We are global citizens. It’s not as if we are coming here to make an Indian community, we come here to do our research, to do our work. But in the meantime we meet together to get connected to our roots.”

Most of the Indians are connected to the university, but there are also people working in the local mining and metals industry, entrepreneurs with their own businesses, and more besides, who join together to celebrate local festivals and to hold other events. 

“For the Independence Day of India, we gathered together and had some food we prepared,” he says. “In India we celebrate for ten days at Dussehra for the deity of the holy mother. But here we will gather together for one evening to celebrate among ourselves.”


While the university put out a press release reporting Banerjee’s role in Chandrayaan-3, he is no longer working with the India’s space agency, working more closely with NASA and ESA in his current projects. 

He sees the soft landing of the project’s Vikram lander and the dispatch of the autonomous Pragyan rover onto this unexplored part of the moon as a milestone for humanity, rather than something only India should celebrate. 

“It is indeed a significant success: not only for India, it is a success for the entire space community that we have the capability to autonomously land on another celestial planet, other than earth,” he says.

“It’s not only the moon. We can extend the capability that we have to Mars and then Venus and other planets, maybe other solar systems. It will happen one day. Our home is not within earth only. Humanity will extend beyond that.” 

He is currently working with ESA on a machine learning algorithm that can enable constellations of satellites to work together to optimise their positioning, avoid collisions and react if one of their number is destroyed, and with NASA on another landing algorithm. 

He is also working on a project that will enable an autonomous vehicle landed on the moon or another planet to seek out the source of any substance it detects, and also on robotics systems to enable autonomous vehicles to explore caves. 

“Cave areas are very important in space because those are like time capsules. They contain information that has been untouched for millions and millions of years, unaffected by any wind gust or any asteroids or meteorites, so they can help us find the source of universe, how it formed, how that life came about.”

He has one more year of his postdoc left, and doesn’t yet know if he and his wife will stay in subarctic Sweden or move on elsewhere. But, if he was given another position, he says he’d be happy to stay in Northern Sweden for the long term.   

“I like this place, so if that happened, I’d be happy. But I cannot predict my future. I’d be happy to spend my life here if I got an opportunity.”