Requirements to retire in Spain as a foreigner and how to establish residence to collect a pension after having contributed in another country


Spain has become one of the most attractive countries in Europe for foreign retirees – it competes with France Y Portugal- to retire and collect -also to spend and pay taxes- their pensions, higher than those of the Spanish, especially in the case of nationals of European countries, mainly French and German. Thus, the number of citizens with a nationality other than Spanish who have decided to reside in our country and who are now 65 years of age or older, has not stopped growing in recent years and their number is now around 385,000, practically twice as many as just 15 years ago, according to data from the census of the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Among these, in addition to european VIP retireesthere is a remarkable percentage of Romanian and Moroccanwho after ending their working life and earning their pension, stayed permanently in Spain. But the largest percentage are retirees who have chosen Spain for their retirement, in addition to the relatively low quality and cost of living, the climate, security, communications or taxes, because at some point in their working life they worked, lived and listed in our country and saw that it could be the ideal destination for retirement. Meanwhile, others learned about all the positive aspects of retiring on the Mediterranean coast or in the Canary Islands Y Balearics on some summer trip or because they had already established their second residence in the beach towns, or close to them, in Spanish territory.

Statistics show that the preferred destinations of the elderly already settled in Spain are Valencian Community, Andalusia and Catalonia, which host six out of ten of these citizens. In addition to all the obvious incentives, next year there will be an added one, since the pension reform of the Minister of Inclusion, Social Securityly Migrations, Jose Luis Escrivaon the move, contemplate the revaluation of benefits according to the Index of Consumer Prices (CPI), which means that the ‘Spanish part’ of the benefit will rise by around 8.5%, according to the regulations.

International agreements make it easier to determine the pension of citizens who contributed in two or more countries. Spain hosts a good part of them

Work in two countries, collect a pension in Spain

Working life often takes place in several countries, an issue that is dealt with through international agreementwhich facilitate communication between the Social Security institutions in order to determine the pension of these business travellers, taking into account the contribution periods and the current regulations in the different nations. Thus, last September there was in Spain a total of 482,000 retirement pensions processed under the international standard -around 7.3% of the total-, in addition to another 243,000 widowhood pensions, especially, and permanent disability.

France, Germany and Switzerland, countries of destination for Spanish emigrants in the 1960s, account for almost 70% of the total rights acquired in this type of rising benefits, which are increasingly distributed to older people. Community citizens have it quite easy to reside and retire in Spain, since, according to the legislation, they can move freely throughout the Schengen area. Meanwhile, those who do not belong to this economic zone must be accredited as residents, have a comprehensive health insurance in Spain and have enough income to subsist in our country without receiving financial aid and which in the case of pensioners is 40,000 euros in the bank account.

Each country pays proportionally to the time that has been quoted in it and contemplates, for the part of the pension that corresponds to it, all the novelties

How to know my pension if I have worked in two countries

To calculate the pension of people who have worked in two or more countries, two calculations are made, with some exceptions, as provided for Morocco, Mexico, the Philippines, Chile, the United States or Venezuela. First, it is verified whether the requirements are met, especially the number of years contributed, and then how much would be charged if the sum of the periods contributed in the States party to the Agreement is taken into account. The pensions paid by the Social SecurityThe Spanish to residents in other countries are made by check or transfer, without added expenses for pensioners, and average around 560 eurosto which are added the part paid by the other countries.

Once these pensions are recognized, each state pays according to the period of work activity covered in it and the resolution adopted in one of the States is not binding on the other. From there, you must apply for the pension at the place of residence or where you carried out your last work activity. In the case of SpainOnce the request is received, the Social Security sends it to the institutions of the countries in which it is certifies having exercised labor activity.

Each country pays proportionally to the time that has been quoted in it and contemplates, for the part of the pension that corresponds to it, all the novelties, including the revaluation. Foreign pensioners who reside permanently in Spain are taxed on their income obtained in other countries and double taxation agreements try to avoid double taxation in the countries to which these retirees are linked. Once more than 183 days a year pass in Spanish territory, these are already considered tax resident pensioners.



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