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Getting settled in Denmark

CPR number

When you arrive in Denmark to start your work at SDU, it is important that you contact the relevant authorities in the correct order to get registered at the National Registration Office and to obtain a CPR number and a health card.


You can get registered at your local municipality´s citizen service center.
If you live in Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg or Copenhagen, you can visit the International Citizen Service(ICS) where you will find all the services you need in one place.

When you have registered, you will be issued a CPR number and you will receive a yellow health insurance card in the mail within 30 days.
You will be covered by Danish health care as soon as you get the CPR number, so you need to make sure that you are sufficiently covered by a private insurance or by the Blue European Health Insurance Card from another EU-country in the period of time until you get registered.

Please find the relevant checklist for registration according to nationality here.

Bank account

When you arrive in Denmark to start your work at SDU, you need a Danish bank account as soon as possible. This enables SDU to transfer your salary to your account.

To establish an account at a Danish bank you must first get a CPR number and receive your yellow health card. The bank can then help you set up a NemKonto, which is a public payment system that enables the authorities to transfer money to you.

If you do not take up residence in Denmark and get a CPR-number you can have your foreign bank account assigned as a Nemkonto. You can find the registration form and the instructions here, and you can read more about NemKonto at Life in Denmark's website

How to open a Danish bank account

There are many different banks in Denmark - to open a bank account, just contact the bank you find relevant to you . 

The following documentation is needed for setting up an account:

It it also possible to use an online bank, for example Lunar or Revolut.

MitID is a common secure login, which is used for public services and online banking. 
You can obtain NemID through personal appearance at a citizen service center when you have received your yellow health card in the mail.

More information can be found here.

As a researcher employed at the University of Southern Denmark, you are automatically covered by the Collective Agreement for Academics in the State (Danish).
Your basic salary, number of holidays, pension and much more is determined by this agreement.

The labour market is characterized by strong trade unions and collective agreements known as the Danish Model. This means that the general terms of employment are regulated by collective agreements made by the trade unions and employer associations. In this folder from the Ministry of Finance, you can read more about employment in the Danish State Sector.

Your salary consists of a basic salary based on your seniority. When employed as a member of scientific staff (i.e. research assistant, PhD Fellow, postdoc, assistant professor, associate professor, professor, professor with special responsibilities) you will receive a centrally agreed supplement (tillæg) attached to the specific job category.

If you hold a professorship your salary is not based on seniority, but placed in a separate and higher salary bracket.
You can find more information about the job structure (including a description of the different job categories) in this memorandum from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science: Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities

Current salary rates can be found here.

In addition to the basic salary and fixed position structure supplements attached to the job category, the collective agreement and the university salary policy allow for further supplements by local agreement and negotiation.

The most common supplements are:

  • Qualification supplements (based on professional and personal qualifications, quality of performance), which are usually granted as a permanent supplement.
  • Job-based supplements, are usually granted in connection with special functions linked to particular tasks.
  • One-off payments, as a matter of remuneration following a particular effort.

You are entitled to a salary negotiation when taking up employment with SDU. You can ask your Ddepartment to refer you to your union representative for this purpose. Your union representative is also mentioned in your employment contract from SDU if you have already received this.

Furthermore, all employees are entitled to negotiate their salary once a year or when taking up a new position/function within the University.

The salary being settled as part of the collective agreement implicates that it is the union representative who negotiates the salary on behalf of the employees. This is also the case for the annual negotiations on any supplement.
The outcome will, however, depend on local conditions, budgets and policies. 

If you have any questions about the salary negotiations, you can contact your union representative or your immediate manager.

At the end of every month your payslip is sent from “Økonomistyrelsen” to your e-Boks which is your online digital mailbox.

It is your own responsibility to check whether you receive the correct salary, so please make sure that the salary and supplements correspond with your employment contract.

It is possible to receive your payslip in English. Just send an e-mail to, including your department, your name and your date of birth in the subject field.

Working hours are generally fixed by collective agreement. Working hours are presently 37 hours a week on average (full-time employment).

It is possible to obtain an agreement on part-time employment, but this will depend on the local planning and organization of work, and the decision lies with your head of department/executive head.

Employees who plan their own work, or whose working time cannot be checked are not entitled to overtime pay. However, the employer may grant overtime remuneration by specific assessment if the scope of the additional work has been considerable.


The welfare system in Denmark is mostly financed via taxes.
Foreign employees are usually covered by social security in Denmark, and when you live and work in Denmark you must therefore pay taxes to the Danish State. These taxes contributes to the Danish welfare system which includes health care, child care and education.

Here you can find more information about the Danish tax system.

When you start working in Denmark, you also become tax liable in Denmark. Therefore, you need to apply for a tax card. This can either be done online or by visiting one of the International Citizen Service Centers.

You can apply for a tax card as soon as you have your CPR number.

The special tax scheme for researchers gives you the possibility to be taxed 27 % (plus 8% labor market contribution) of your income, which is lower than the standard Danish tax rate.

To qualify for the scheme, you:

  • must be employed on postdoc level or above
  • must be recruited abroad
  • cannot have been tax liable to in Denmark within the last 10 years

You can be taxed by the special tax scheme for researchers for a period of up to 84 months.

You can read more about the researcher taxation at the Danish Tax Agency's website here.

If you meet the criteria for applying for the special tax scheme for researchers and wish to apply, the application must be completed and submitted by International Staff Office. 

The application can be submitted when you have registered in Denmark and received your CPR number. 

When the application has been submitted, the salary office will set your effective tax rate to 32,84 % (8 % in labor market contribution and 27 % in taxes) even though the application has not yet been processed by the Danish Tax Agency.

Please be aware, that if you apply for the researchers tax scheme, you do not need a tax card.

Please contact for more information or if you want to apply for the scheme.

Social security contributions consist of an 8% labour market contribution paid on wages and benefits.
For more information about Tax Identification Number for employees with a residential address abroad, please go to this page on our website.



As an employee at SDU, you earn 2.08 holidays each month, 25 days per year. 

You earn holidays from 1 September to 31 August (12 months), and you can take your holiday as you earn it. 
The holiday period where your holidays can be taken is from 1 September to 31 December (16 months).


Special Holiday

You earn 0.42 days of each month, 5 per year

Special holidays are earned  from 1 January to 31 December and can be spend from 1 May  to 30 April the following year.


You will be asked to plan your holidays for a year at a time.

Rules regarding holidays can be found here

As an international researcher employed by SDU you are covered by a mandatory pension scheme. SDU pays a total pension contribution of currently 17, 1 % of your pensionable salary. 

You can choose between 3 different pension schemes, but there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for the different schemes. Read more about the different options below. 

It is advisable that you consider which pension contribution you prefer prior to your employment. If you choose one scheme and want to change your choice at a later date, you must inform SDU HR through the request form.
The change can take effect from the following month´s salary payment. Please note that retroactive changes are not possible.

If you do not chose an option, you will automatically be placed in the ordinary pension contribution scheme.

Download the request form for selection or re-selection of pension scheme.

Read more about the rules and conditions here: Internal Circular regarding the collective agreement for certain state-employed academics on fixed-term contracts for the non-payment of pension contribution.

You can read more about the different schemes in this information material.

According to the collective agreement that applies to all academic staff, SDU will transfer a monthly pension contribution to the relevant pension fund.
Your pension fund will depend on your educational background and the name of the relevant pension fund will appear on your payslip.

In Denmark, pension contributions are exempt from taxation when they are paid into the pension fund. This means that you will not pay taxes on pension contributions transferred to your pension fund. Instead, tax will be deducted when you request for your pension savings to be paid out.

If you choose to take out your pension savings when your employment ends and you leave Denmark, the current taxation rate is approximately 60 %. If you choose to take out your pension savings when you reach the age of retirement, the taxation rate will depend on your tax situation and the prevailing pension tax legislation.

In connection with your pension contributions, you will find that your pension scheme is both a way of saving capital for your future and an insurance policy that comes into effect from the first day of your employment.

The insurance coverage consists of:

  • Disability insurance providing you with financial security should you lose the ability to work
  • Spouse’s/cohabitant’s/children´s pension providing your family with financial security in the event of your untimely death.

The insurance cover in relation to the ordinary pension contribution is flexible and can be arranged to match your personal situation. For more information you will need to contact your pension fund.

On this scheme, SDU will also transfer a monthly pension contribution to the relevant pension fund. However, when the pension contribution is made to your pension fund every month, it will be taxed immediately according to your current tax status. This means that every month you will pay tax on the monthly pension contribution out of your salary.

If you are under the researcher taxation scheme with a flat rate of 27 % tax (plus 8 % labor market contribution), your pension contribution will be taxed at approximately 32 % every month. If you are not eligible for the researcher taxation scheme, you will be taxed at the tax rate according to your Danish tax card. The taxation rate will typically vary between 37 and 42 %.

Whether you request your pension savings paid out at the end of your employment or you keep your savings in your Danish pension fund until you reach the age of retirement, payment is free of tax. This means that you can take out your savings without having to pay any additional taxes.

If you are on the researcher taxation scheme during your stay in Denmark and choose to have a pension scheme; it makes sense to choose the “ordinary pension contribution scheme with taxation” as your pension contribution, because your tax rate will probably never get any lower.

In order to be eligible for section 53A, you must be employed in accordance with the Collective Agreement concerning Academic Staff Employed by the State, and you must be placed in one of the pension funds listed below.

To receive advice on this important choice please contact the pension fund relevant to your educational background:

AkademikerPension (formerly MP Pension)
Pension fund for Danish M.A.’s, M.S.’s and PhD's)
Phone: +45 39 15 01 02

P+ pension (Fusion between JØP and DIP)
Pension fund for Lawyers, Engineers and Economists
Phone: +45 38 18 87 00

Pension fund for Agricultural Academics, Veterinary Surgeons, Architects, etc.
Phone: +45 77 33 18 77 

PFA Pension
Pension fund for librarians etc.
Phone: +45 70 12 50 00

Pension fund for Pharmacists etc.
Phone: +45 39 46 36 00

The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have agreed on a new protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by SDU to be exempted from paying pension contributions.

This means that your pension contribution will be paid out together with your monthly salary. This amount will be taxed according to your current taxation status, whether you are covered by the researcher taxation scheme of a flat rate of 27 % or taxed on the basis of ordinary income tax in Denmark.

In order to be eligible for pension exemption, you must fulfill the following requirements:
Employment as a researcher, research assistant, PhD fellow, postdoc, assistant professor, associate professor or professor.

  • Non-Danish citizenship
  • Fixed-term employment – maximum of five years
  • Recruited abroad

If your employment as a researcher at SDU is extended, or if you change your place of employment from SDU to another Danish university, the pension exemption will remain in effect for a maximum total term of normally five years.

The pension exemption agreement cannot be retroactive. This means that any pension contribution already made by SDU to the relevant pension fund is irreversible.

If you choose pension exemption instead of the ordinary pension contributions, you should be aware that you will not benefit from the insurance coverage that comes with the ordinary pension scheme. You will only be covered by the mandatory group life insurance policy, which provides basic insurance in the event of critical illness or death.
It is therefore advisable to consider taking up additional private insurance. 

The information about pension schemes on this page does not constitute and cannot replace individual legal counselling. SDU strives to ensure that the information about pension schemes provided here is correct, but takes no accountability for mistakes or deficiencies.


If you get employed at SDU while maintaining your residency in another country, you are considered a cross-border commuter.

This means that, depending on your nationality, special rules apply to you and there are some practical issues you need to settle before starting your employment, e.g. social security, taxation, etc. 

Please be aware, if you have a residential address outside of Denmark, you must report your Tax Identification Number (TIN). Read more about TIN here.

Please find our guidelines to commuters from Germany and Sweden below or contact us for more information.

Cross-boarder commuters


You need to open a Danish bank account (NEM-konto) or have your foreign bank account assigned as a NEM-Konto to receive your salary.
If you are eligible for the researchers tax scheme, please contact, othervise you need to apply for a tax card and a personal tax number using this online form.

Social security

When you live in Germany and work in Denmark you are usually covered by social security in Denmark.
Please use this online form to apply for a special Health Card. The special health card is your proof of your right to health care in Denmark.
You will also receive a German health card marked “Status 7” that proves your right to health care in Germany as well.
Read more about social security here.

Unemployment benefits

If you want to be covered by unemployment insurance you have to sign up in an “A-kasse” in Denmark, but you will receive unemployment benefits from Germany if you lose your job in Denmark.
Read more about the rules here.

At and you can find supplementary information.


You need to open a Danish bank account (NEM-konto) or have your foreign bank account assigned as a NEM-Konto to receive your salary.
If you are eligible for the researchers tax scheme, please contact, othervise you need to apply for a tax card and a personal tax number using this online form.

Social security

When you live in Sweden and work in Denmark you are covered by social security in Denmark.
Please use this online form to apply for a special Health Card. The special health card is your proof of the right to health care in Denmark.

If you also work in Sweden for another employer you will still be covered by Danish social security as long as your work in Sweden does not exceed 25 % of your total working hours. Read more about work in more than one country.

Unemployment benefits

If you want to be covered by unemployment insurance you have to sign up in an “A-kasse” in Denmark, but you will receive unemployment benefits from Sweden if you lose your job. Read more about the rules here.

At you can read about the relevant rules and find a checklist on what to remember in connection with your employment. 

At you can find supplementary information.



Last Updated 07.06.2024