The Spanish pension system is compulsory and relies on contributions to the national social security framework. Foreign residents employed in Spain can also access a Spanish pension, provided they fulfil specific criteria.
Reforms implemented in 2013 aimed to elevate the state pension age in Spain from 65 to 67 by 2027. The retirement age experienced incremental increases of one month per year until 2018, and subsequently, it has risen by two months annually. As of 2024, the retirement age will be 66 years and 6 months.
Nevertheless, individuals can still opt for retirement at 65 years if they have completed 38 years of social security contributions. This requirement is set to increase to 38.5 years by 2027.
Who can claim a state pension in Spain?
To be eligible for the minimum state pension in Spain, a requirement is a minimum of 15 years of work and corresponding social security contributions, with at least two of these years falling within the 15 years immediately before applying for the pension. There are exceptions, such as periods of maternity leave, unemployment, or exposure to specific workplace hazards, which can be considered towards the contribution period.
Note that Spain has reciprocal agreements with several countries in regard to state pensions. This will mean that your pension payments made in another country may count towards the 15-year requirement. This means that for many people, they won’t have to have contributed for 15 years in Spain to receive their Spanish state pension.
Self-employed individuals in Spain can qualify for a pension by registering and consistently making social security contributions to Spain’s self-employed social security fund.
Having a clear awareness of the time remaining until you can access your pension in Spain, alongside critical details like your social security contribution base and the total amount paid in, plays a pivotal role in effective future planning and ensuring seamless access to your pension funds.
For those who have lived and worked in Spain for a considerable number of years and have been paying social security contributions during that time, you may be curious about the duration remaining before you can indeed access your pension.
In Spain, it is very common for employees to depend on their employers when it comes to social security contributions, trusting them to prioritise their best interests. However, occasional errors by employers in handling these contributions correctly, could mean that not all working hours contribute to an individual's pension.
For this reason, it is essential to stay aware of your contributions and know how much time is left until you qualify for a pension, especially for self-employed individuals in Spain.
Self-employed individuals in Spain, who often contribute less on average to their pensions, tend to be more conscious of their pension status. They may be familiar with the ‘Informe de Vida Laboral’, which is a tool that allows people to track their working history, contribution amounts, and the time left until pension eligibility.
What is the Informe de Vida Laboral?
The ‘Informe de Vida Laboral’ is a comprehensive document maintained by Spain's social security system, including all periods of contributions made by an individual to the Spanish Social Security system. This report serves as a storehouse of information regarding an individual's entire working life in Spain, including details that can be crucial when claiming pensions abroad, especially within the European Union.
To obtain your ‘Informe de Vida Laboral’, you can access the Social Security portal. This report provides a breakdown of your work history, including job details, duration of employment, pension contributions, and your employment status (full-time, part-time, or self-employed). Additionally, it informs you about the remaining time until retirement, giving you a comprehensive overview of your pension status.
Accessing the report is a straightforward process, offering multiple options including:
Via SMS: If you've registered your mobile number with the Social Security system, you can request a code via SMS, allowing you to print or consult the report on your computer or phone simultaneously.
Via digital certificate: Individuals with a digital certificate installed on their devices can download the report directly upon logging in.
Without a digital certificate: By providing your Social Security number, Spanish ID number (DNI or NIE), and registered address, you can request the report. You'll receive a message at the provided email address, updating you on the request status.
Via Username + Password (Cl@ve): Generating a password requires an activation code obtainable at any Cl@ve Registry Office. With the code, you can print or consult the report through your computer. You can also register for the Cl@ave online.
This proactive approach empowers individuals to stay informed about their pension status, facilitating effective retirement planning and ensuring a smoother process when accessing pension funds.
You can view the official page for the Informe de Vida Laboral.
You may also view a video on how to access the service here.
Updated: February 07, 2024 CET