Pension System

Pension System

Portugal’s pension system is covered by “Centro Nacional de Pensões” -CNP (National Centre for Pensions), a department of Portugal’s Social Security Organisation (Segurança Social). It falls under two categories:

  • there is an earnings-related, contribution-based pension that covers everyone in the workforce who has made sufficient contributions;
  • there is a means-tested, minimum-rate ‘social pension’ for those who haven’t participated in the workforce or haven’t made sufficient contributions.

Payment benefits under the Portuguese state pension are linked to life expectancy and indexed to consumer price index changes. Self-employed workers are also covered by the Portuguese state pension, provided they have made the necessary contributions.

Who can claim a pension in Portugal?

To qualify for a contributions-based, old-age pension in Portugal, you must have worked and paid social security in Portugal for at least 15 calendar years, not necessarily consecutive. A calendar year qualifies as having worked at least 120 days within that year. Any years with less than 120 days of work registered can be combined to count as a full calendar year towards your Portuguese pension.

Foreigners have equal rights to claim a pension in Portugal, provided they have made the necessary contributions for at least 15 years.

It is the employer’s responsibility to register workers and ensure that the required pension contributions are made.

That means that you will need to apply for a Social Security Identification Number (Número de Identificação da Segurança Social – NISS) and give it to employers. This number will be needed when you claim your Portuguese pension, or for other social security benefits.

Those in self-employment can also claim a pension in Portugal but need to make their social security contribution arrangements themselves.

Retirement age in Portugal

The official retirement age in Portugal rose to 66 years and 3 months for both women and men in  January 2017. To plan for the slowly ageing population and increasing life expectancy, the government will continue to adjust the retirement age in Portugal in the following years in line with life expectancy statistics.

It is possible to take early retirement in Portugal before age 66 without penalty if you make at least 40 years of contributions. It is also possible to defer receiving your pension in Portugal until you reach 70.

Source and more info here and here.