How to collect your pension in Portugal

Retirees in Portugal
18 September 2018, Redaction

Retirement age is finally here, and you have big plans – moving to Portugal. And we salute you for your wise decision. With 3000 hours of sunshine per year, some of Europe’s most stunning beaches, beautiful cities and friendly people, Portugal sounds like the right choice. But before you pack all your stuff and book a ticket, you need to be aware of how to collect your state pension overseas.

To claim your state pension that you have from home, you have to apply to the Portuguese National Pension Centre (Centro Nacional de Pensoes or CNP), which will handle the processing of your application to transfer the funds to your new home in Portugal. The Portuguese government has a treaty with most EU countries to avoid double taxation on state pensions, but if you become a Portuguese resident, you may be taxed extra on private pension plans.

Pension rules in the EU

If you have worked in many different EU countries, you may have gained pension rights in all of them. This means that you can apply for a pension in the country where you live or where you last worked. In this case, if you have never worked in Portugal, they will forward your claim to the last place you worked in. This country will be responsible for processing your claim and collecting records from all the countries you’ve ever worked in.

You will receive a pension from each country upon reaching their legal retirement age. For example, if you worked in France, you will receive your pension when you turn 60 and if you worked also some years in Denmark, you will start to receive it once you reach their legal retirement age, which would be 67.

Each country granting your pension normally pays it directly into a bank account in your current location – in this case your Portuguese bank account. It’s also a good idea to start asking for information on obtaining your pension at least 6 months before retirement, since it can take a while to process it.

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