Government Old Age Pension in Spain

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old age pension in Spain

Please note that we no longer are able to deal with this issue (August 2020). Our apologies.

Here are some points regarding the government old age pension in Spain:

This information is important to know especially with Brexit around the corner. Even if you are Brexit proofed however, some of the points here are important. 

How can I apply for my government old-age pension in Spain? 

If you, like most expats, have worked in several EU countries you are probably entitled to pension payments from all these countries.

Spanish Solutions will on your behalf, apply to the Spanish pension authority.

If you have never worked in spain, they will forward the application to the last country where you worked. 

Lets say its Ireland, or the UK; they are now at this time responsible to accumulate the relevant information regarding your working past. It can take a while so the sooner you apply, the better. 

How do I get paid my government old-age pension in Spain? 

Most EU country that grants you a pension will deposit the money into your Spanish bank account (only one country pays, wherever you are fiscally resident). If you don’t have a Spanish bank account for some reason, you ́ll need to open one in each country where you worked or are receiving a pension from. 

What Documents do i need?

These requirements vary from one country to another. In Spain, you need to supply:

  • Passport
  • Bank details
  • Residency details, and they will do the rest.

Differences in EU retirement ages?

Some EU Countries have earlier / later retirement ages than others

This is important: You can only receive your pension from Spain once you have reached the current legal retirement age here. 

If you have accumulated pension in a few countries, you must wait until you are the age to draw pension in those countries before receiving the full amount due.  

  • Example 1

A Client from France worked in Denmark for 15 years. She then went back home to France. When she turned 60 (retirement age in France) she only received a fraction of what was due.  

The reason is that the 60 yr old client is only entitled to the French part of her pension at this time. She receives the part from Denmark when she turns 67 (retirement age in Denmark)  

This is an example taken from the European state pension website. 

How long do I need to work to get an old age pension in Spain? 


The years you must have worked for a minimum period of time to be entitled to a pension vary between countries.

The pension authority however has to take into account all the time you worked in other EU states (known as the principle of aggregation of periods).

  • Example 2

A client worked for 4 years in Germany and he worked for 32 in Portugal.

You must have worked for at least 5 years in Germany to earn a pension. He would not normally qualify for the national pension scheme in Germany therefore. 

Once the German pension authority realised that he had worked in Portugal it recognised his entitlement. He now gets a pension from Germany for the 4 years worked there.   

If you have worked for less than a year in any country, they do not provide a pension for short periods. However, this time worked will still count. Spain takes it into account when calculating the pension amount.  

This is an example taken from the European state pension website. 

How is a pension calculated?

The pension authorities in each EU country where  you have worked will look at the contributions you’ve paid into their system, analyse how long you worked in each country and how much you paid in other countries.

What is the The EU-equivalent rate? 

Spain’s pension authority calculates the part of the pension it should pay taking into account periods completed in each EU state.

Spain will add together the time you worked all over Europe,  work out how much is due if you had worked all that time in Spain (this is called the theoretical amount).

This amount paid to you will be adjusted to reflect the real time you were employed (it´s called the pro-rata benefit).

  • Example 3

Rosa has worked for twenty years in France. She also worked ten years here in Spain.

Both countries want you to have worked a minimum period of 15 years.

Both France and Spain will calculate Rosa’s pension:

France will make a double calculation. They work out her national pension for 15 yr, approx 800 euro / month. Next they work out the theoretical payment she would have received if she worked in France all the time she was in Spain.

In this case, 1,600 euro. Then, France will determine the pro-rata pension. That is the % of this figure which should be paid for the years worked in France. 1,000 euro a month.

Spain, on the other hand will not calculate the national pension. The reason is that Rosa has worked less than the minimum period required in Spain.

They calculate the EU-equivalent rate. They start with the theoretical amount, i.e. the pension Rosa would have had if she had worked all the 30 years in Spain. Approx 1,200 per month. 

Now we have the pro-rata pension.  It’s the part of this total which should be paid for the years worked in Spain. (400) 

Ultimately Rosa gets 1,000 from France, 400 from Spain and a total of 1,400 / Month.

Sample story from the European Pension website. 

What about an invalidity pension in EU?

The general rules for government old age pension also apply to the calculation of invalidity pensions. However:

  • Each country you have worked in, including Spain could insist on examining you separately if you claim an invalidity pension or incapacity benefit. These countries may well reach different verdicts, one thinking you are seriously incapacitated, and the other not considering you badly incapacitated at all.

As with all these matters, it is better if you speak to us our accountant by appointment or in our La Zenia office to get the best advice possible about your government old age pensions in Spain . 

We can do most of the work over the phone and on email so now need to call in personally at least to get your free assessment. 

Let us know how we can help.

Please note that we no longer are able to deal with this issue due to a change of staff in August 2020. If we can help with another matter of any type please let us know.

14 Comments

  • R.J.v.d.Werff

    my dutch pension is under embargo, so we have no income at all ( the amount is 870 euro )
    can you organize for us a spannish pension ( the documents of embargo I´ve in my possesion )

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon

      We can certainly try, we will contact you to discuss this matter further.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Luibov Rennie

    Good Morning! I am 65.Iam Russian with British passport. The longest working activity was in Russia. But I also worked in the UK. And when we moved to Spain I also worked here. If I apply for Spanish pension through your company how much will it cost?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Luibov,

      We would require a 100€ provision of funds to start the pension process on your behalf.

      Should you wish to proceed, please do not hesitate to contact us.
      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Julia Buxton

    Hi, We are living in Spain, and my Husband has turned 65 in April 2020. We applied for his pension in February, and forwarded all relevant information to yourselves in February this year to the authorities, and had another appointment in March which was cancelled due to the Virus. According to the person who saw us in February, he is entitled to at least part pension until he reaches 66 years in the UK, when his UK pension is due, April 2021. She also said he would be receiving a backpayment from when he applied, i.e. March/April 2020. We haven’t been able to make another appointment to see anyone since March 23rd, when this appointment was cancelled by the officers due to the Virus. We are, however, told this week, it may be further delayed by the officers, as the only times we can apply is 8.30am to 9am each morning, and they are on part time working. We are living only on my pension, which is only a state pension from the UK, which doesn’t reach 600 euros a month, because he was finished at the end of March, by his last employer, assuming he was to become retired on April 7th 2020. Please can someone help us, as we are desperate to know when he will get some help to pay our bills which are outstanding over 7 months now.
    Thank you
    Julia.

    • Jane

      Hi Julia

      I have passed this to the team who will contact you by e mail.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Michael J D

    I will quality for a UK pension when I am 66 (with 40 years of contributions – I have continued to pay my National Insurance contributions in the UK even though I left in 2005).
    I will qualify for a Spanish pension when I am 66 year and 8 months (with 18 years contributions).
    My question is:
    You can receive a Spanish pension at 65 if you have over 38 years of contributions. Can this apply in my case using my combined UK and Spanish contributions or will I need to wait until I reach the retirement ages that I stated above?

    • Jane

      Hi Michael

      I have contacted a tax advisor who has confirmed that you cannot combine the contributions in the two countries.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Mike Harmon

    I am a UK national resident in Spain. I have been working as autonomo in Spain and paying tax for 4 years. I will be 63 in April 2021 and have heard that I can claim a reduced pension in Spain from the age of 63. I have made full contributions in the UK to qualify for a full pension when I reach the age needed. Now it is after Brexit has happened, is there an advantage to transferring all my UK contributions to the Spanish pension system and can I actually take early retirement here in Spain at 63?

    • Jane

      Hi Mike

      We cannot give individual financial advise you would need to speak to an expert who deals with pensions. We have a collaboration company who we can put you in touch with if you wish. Please give us a ring or e mail enquiries@spanishsolutions.net.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Lyn

    Hi. My uncle sadly passed away on 31/12/2020 and he used to talk about his Spanish pension ( he lived and worked in Spain for many years). I’m trying to find out how I can contact the Spanish pension department to notify them of his passing. Also I’m trying to find out if he ever made a Will whilst living in Spain. Any help with these maters would be greatly appreciated. Lyn

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Lyn, We are very sorry to hear about your uncle. Please accept our sympathy. To notify the Spanish pension department (INSS) that he passed away you need to book an appointment, or go online and give they will need the death certificate. This is the link:http://www.seg-social.es/wps/portal/wss/internet/Inicio . For the Will, a solicitor would need to send an original death certificate (with a Hague Apostille if not Spanish) to Madrid to get a Last Will Certificate which says where any Last Will in Spain was made (the Notary). Please let me know if you would like me to do this for you, it costs approx 100€, With kind regards, Amanda

  • Amanda Maclellan

    I have worked in Spain for 11 years and before 17 years in the UK. I am 64, unemployed and have permanent residency here. I have received a U1 form from the UK but contains very few details of contributions. I would like to apply here for ‘el subsidio para mayores de 52 años’ will this form be enough for INSS?
    THANKS IN ADVANCE. AMANDA

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Amanda,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      It would be best to make an appointment at your local Social Security office to discuss the application and the requirements in full. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

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