Pensions in Portugal

Pensions in Portugal

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If you're living and working in Portugal, here is an overview of the pension system in Portugal.

In Portugal there are three main types of pensions; old-age pension, survivor’s pension, and invalidity pension.

Pensions in Portugal

Old-age pension
The old-age pension kicks in at retirement. The legal retirement age in Portugal is 65 years, however exceptions are possible. In order to qualify, you must have worked 15 calendar years, not necessarily consecutive, and have registered all your earnings. It is possible to retire and obtain the option earlier in one of the following cases;

  • Long-term involuntary unemployment
  • Specially protected professional activities
  • Situations determining specific protection measures for activities or enterprises, due to short-term economic factors.

Survivor’s pension
In the case of a fatality, the survivor’s pension is available to certain family members of the deceased. The pension is only available if the deceased fulfilled the 36 month qualifying period with registered earnings. Family members that may receive the pension must be one of the following;

  • Spouse and former spouses
  • Someone who lived in an identical situation to that of a spouse for more than two years
  • Descendents, including newborn and fully adopted children; up to 18 years of age or up to 27 years of age provided they do not exercise an activity covered by a compulsory social protection scheme. There is no limit of age in the case of the disabled.
  • Ascendants for which the deceased beneficiary was responsible; as long as no spouse, former spouse or descendent is entitled to the same pension.

The death allowance is awarded to family members of the deceased beneficiary who are entitled to the survivors’ pension, with no requirement for a qualifying period.

In cases of invalidity, a person will receive invalidity protection. General social security scheme beneficiaries suffering from invalidity will receive the following benefits: invalidity pension and long-term care supplement.

Invalidity pension
Invalidity pension is awarded to employees who have been confirmed permanently unfit to work, due to a non-occupational cause. The cause must be subsequent to their registration with the social security system. To be accepted, they must have had registered earnings in the social security system for five years in the case of relative invalidity or three years in the case of total invalidity.

Long-term care supplement is awarded to social security scheme pensioners who are in a position of dependency, i.e. those who cannot meet their basic daily needs independently. Different degrees of dependency are considered in awarding and determining the amount of the payment.

Pension terms in Portuguese
Old-age pension: pensão de velhice
survivor’s pension: pensão de sobrevivência
invalidity pension: pensão de invalidez
Long-term care supplement: Complemento de cuidados prolongados


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