For members


How to switch to a Norwegian phone number

If you are sick of roaming charges or forking out for international calls and are ready to take the plunge and get a Norwegian number, there are a few things to know first.

Somebody taking pictures of a mountaintop in Norway using their smartphone.
These are your options if you want to switch to a Norwegian number. Pictured is somebody using their phone to photograph a mountain top in Norway. Photo by Hans M on Unsplash

Changing to a local number code, in this instance +47, is a small change that can feel like a massive part of adapting to life in Norway.

It could also be necessary to avoid high roaming charges for international calls and messages. Less importantly, but perhaps just as satisfying, it will also save you all the faff and fiddling about of finding the country code of your current number when filling in forms online.

If you’re ready to switch to a Norwegian number, there are two options available to you.

Kontantkort (pay-as-you-go)

This is the most straightforward way to get a Norwegian mobile phone number. You can buy a pay-as-you-go sim at phone shops, in convenience stores, or you can order one online.

If you order online, some providers will need you to have either or both BankID, a form of electronic ID, and a Norwegian Identification Number, either D-number or fødelsnummer (an identity number issued to people who intend on staying in Norway more than six months).

READ ALSO: What are the best banks for foreigners in Norway?

If you don’t have access to either, you can do it in person, but you will need a passport to verify your identity to register the sim.

Options include TelenorTeliaMyCallChillimobil and Lycamobile. McCall’s and Lycamobile’s websites are available in English.

You can top up online or you can buy vouchers from convenience stores. However, compared to a contract, a pay-as-you-go solution is less cost-effective and has more limited options when it comes to data.

Although, if you aren’t able to get a phone contract, then a top-up solution may do temporarily until you are eligible for a monthly plan.

Abonnement (monthly plan) 

For many, a monthly plan is a much better option. Options range from fixed-term contracts to rolling sim-only plans.

To get a phone contract, you’ll typically need a Norwegian ID number and bank account. If you are ordering a plan online, you’ll typically need BankID or Vipps, a mobile payment service, to verify your identity. Unfortunately, many banks will not issue a BankID if you only have a D-number. So this means you may need to go into a store to set up a monthly plan.

Different providers may also ask to see previous payslips to prove you can pay for the plan. For example, some may request as much as a year’s worth of payslips, and others may only ask for three months.

Some providers, such as MyCall, will allow you to verify your identity in one of their stores if you don’t have a D-number or fødelsnummer. They have stores in Oslo and Strømmen, north of Oslo. If you do order a plan online, then the sim card will be sent to the address you have registered in the national population register, so you will need to make sure this is up to date.

One of the benefits of taking out a phone contract in Norway is building a credit score in the country, which will come in handy if you want to apply for a loan or mortgage in the future.

READ MORE: How to build up a good credit score in Norway 

If you cannot meet any of these requirements, then there is always the possibility of your partner or similar taking out a contract for you. Although, this comes with the drawback of not building a credit history for yourself.

You can use comparison sites such as to compare deals. Many foreign residents in Norway favour MyCall as calls to the EU, USA, Canada and the UK are included in most of the plans it offers.

Have you got any recommendations for a sim provider in Norway? Leave them in the comments below and we may publish an article in the future on the best providers for foreign residents.

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For members


Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you’re moving country

Have you ever wondered what to do with your private pension plan when moving to another European country?

Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you're moving country

This question will probably have caused some headaches. Fortunately a new private pension product meant to make things easier should soon become available under a new EU regulation that came into effect this week. 

The new pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) will allow savers to take their private pension with them if they move within the European Union.

EU rules so far allowed the aggregation of state pensions and the possibility to carry across borders occupational pensions, which are paid by employers. But the market of private pensions remained fragmented.

The new product is expected to benefit especially young people, who tend to move more frequently across borders, and the self-employed, who might not be covered by other pension schemes. 

According to a survey conducted in 16 countries by Insurance Europe, the organisation representing insurers in Brussels, 38 percent of Europeans do not save for retirement, with a proportion as high as 60 percent in Finland, 57 percent in Spain, 56 percent in France and 55 percent in Italy. 

The groups least likely to have a pension plan are women (42% versus 34% of men), unemployed people (67%), self-employed and part-time workers in the private sector (38%), divorced and singles (44% and 43% respectively), and 18-35 year olds (40%).

“As a complement to public pensions, PEPP caters for the needs of today’s younger generation and allows people to better plan and make provisions for the future,” EU Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness said on March 22nd, when new EU rules came into effect. 

The scheme will also allow savers to sign up to a personal pension plan offered by a provider based in another EU country.

Who can sign up?

Under the EU regulation, anyone can sign up to a pan-European personal pension, regardless of their nationality or employment status. 

The scheme is open to people who are employed part-time or full-time, self-employed, in any form of “modern employment”, unemployed or in education. 

The condition is that they are resident in a country of the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (the European Economic Area). The PEPP will not be available outside these countries, for instance in Switzerland. 

How does it work?

PEPP providers can offer a maximum of six investment options, including a basic one that is low-risk and safeguards the amount invested. The basic PEPP is the default option. Its fees are capped at 1 percent of the accumulated capital per year.

People who move to another EU country can continue to contribute to the same PEPP. Whenever a consumer changes the country of residence, the provider will open a new sub-account for that country. If the provider cannot offer such option, savers have the right to switch provider free of charge.  

As pension products are taxed differently in each state, the applicable taxation will be that of the country of residence and possible tax incentives will only apply to the relevant sub-account. 

Savers who move residence outside the EU cannot continue saving on their PEPP, but they can resume contributions if they return. They would also need to ask advice about the consequences of the move on the way their savings are taxed. 

Pensions can then be paid out in a different location from where the product was purchased. 

Where to start?

Pan-European personal pension products can be offered by authorised banks, insurance companies, pension funds and wealth management firms. 

They are regulated products that can be sold to consumers only after being approved by supervisory authorities. 

As the legislation came into effect this week, only now eligible providers can submit the application for the authorisation of their products. National authorities have then three months to make a decision. So it will still take some time before PEPPs become available on the market. 

When this will happen, the products and their features will be listed in the public register of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). 

For more information: 

This article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.