Spanish siesta after sixty: life in retirement in sunny Spain

Spain ranks second among countries with a high standard of living. For this reason, residents of many countries dream of moving here not only as a warm and beautiful place with a clean coastline, but also as a socially protected country. This includes the elderly. In this article, we will explore the features of Spain’s pension provision: what relocants can expect when moving, the age threshold for retirement, the size of payments, and other features.




What does a pension in Spain for residents represent?

Spain boasts a developed and stable pension system based on the principle of intergenerational solidarity. This means that the working population makes contributions that go towards paying pensions to current retirees.


Pension in Spain


Retirement in Spain implies a number of benefits:

  • Free medical services and necessary medications.
  • Organization of leisure and recreation in the form of circles, clubs by interests, and excursions. The opportunity to actively spend leisure time, thereby prolonging youth and health.
  • A decent level of pension cash accruals.
  • Private pension insurance — keeping funds in one’s own deposit, or this can be entrusted to an insurance company.


The pension in Spain is divided into:

  • Contributiva — contributory pension. Mandatory payments withheld by the employer from the total salary amount, with the aim of providing a decent pension in old age:
  1. Pension payments for retirement.
  2. Insurance payments in case of sick leave.
  • No contributiva — financial assistance for those pensioners and disabled people who do not have the experience to receive pension payments.


The size of the pension in Spain

Citizens of Spain can expect pension payments of about 1000 euros after accumulating 25 years of experience in total. The percentage of pension increases also depends on the length of service:

  • The largest increase of 4% is due to people with more than 37 years of experience.
  • The average supplement of 2.75% can be expected by persons who have worked from 25 to 37 years.
  • The minimum increase of 2% for those with 25 years of experience.


Pension in Spain


The maximum amount of the contributory pension in 2023 per month for Spanish retirees was 3059 euros.

The maximum amount of the non-contributory pension per month in 2023 was 565 euros.

The average pension in Spain is around 1601 euros per month.

The minimum pension in Spain is paid at the rate of 636 euros per month.


From what age does the pension begin in Spain?

The life expectancy of a Spaniard exceeds 80 years. Men and women can retire and receive full state payments at the age of 65 with an earned tenure of 35 years and 6 months. However, the government is promoting a pension reform aimed at increasing the retirement age. It is possible that by 2027 the retirement age will be 67 years.


Pension in Spain


The retirement age in Spain can be reduced early for a number of reasons:

  1. The potential pensioner voluntarily transferred part of the earned funds to the pension fund for 38.5 years.
  2. The potential pensioner earned 30 years of experience and was forced to leave the job, after which he registered at the employment office.
  3. The potential pensioner has experience before 1967.
  4. The potential pensioner at the age of 64 applies for a special benefit.


The pension system in Spain: requirements for applicants for pension payments

No contributiva — disability and old-age pension:

  • No income or income less than 7250 euros per year.
  • The total income of all family members for one year should not exceed a certain amount.
  • Be over 18 and under 65 years of age at the time of application.
  • Reside in the territory of the Spanish state for a period of 5 years.
  • Having a chronic disease or disability.


Contributiva — contributory pension:

  • Be 65 years old at the time of application.
  • Reside in Spain for 10 years from the age of 16 until the date of pension accrual.


Pensions accumulated by citizens of Spain through additional insurance contracts are inherited, which allows accumulating significant funds. Such contracts are considered profitable.


Pension in Spain


How to get a pension in Spain for relocants?

The pension reform affected not only the indigenous population but also foreigners. The requirements for applicants have become stricter.

To be eligible for pension contributions, you must move to Spain for permanent residence 5 years before the expected retirement date. Before starting work in a new country, you should acquire housing. Our agency “M2 Real Estate” will help with the purchase of real estate.

In addition, a minimum of 5 years of work experience in the new country is required. As for the social pension for relocants, its appointment depends on the purpose of staying in the country.

There is an opportunity to receive minimal benefits without working, but for this, you need to live in the territory of the Spanish state for 10 years.


Pension in Spain


The pensionable service of a foreigner is summed up from the years of work in Spain, as well as in other countries. The retirement age threshold depends on the duration of residence in Spain. To retire at 65, you need to be officially employed from 60 to 65 and make contributions to the pension fund, or move for permanent residence at 55 and earlier. Therefore, it is worth thinking about this issue now and start looking for suitable housing. If you have free funds, you can buy an apartment or a house, and there is also an opportunity to exchange real estate in your country for property in Spain. Our agency “M2 Real Estate” will help with the exchange of your housing for Spanish, guaranteeing full legal support of the transaction.

Documents are submitted after translation into Spanish and certification with stamps. A copy of the passport and application is transferred to the pension fund.

For working pensioners, the amount of payments is reduced if they continue to work in Spain.


Pension age in the EU

The retirement age in EU countries varies greatly. There is a trend to increase the pre-retirement age, which does not satisfy the population. Politicians justify the increase threshold by the fact that people’s life expectancy has increased. The growth of the elderly population prevails over the working population, i.e., creating a burden on the budget. Birth rates have decreased, and resources for supporting pensioners have been reduced.


Pension in Spain


In EU countries, the pension piggy bank is formed according to the same principle:

  • Monthly deductions of 10-11% of the employee’s salary are transferred by the employer to the pension fund.
  • Accumulative contributions on a voluntary basis, which are protected by the state.


In the EU, men retire at the age of 64, women — at 63 years. Turkey significantly wins in the lowest retirement threshold for women (49 years) and men (52 years). The highest threshold is in Norway and Iceland — 67 years.

In European countries, there is a growth of pension funds. They account for 10.8% of GDP.


The largest number of expenses:

  • Greece — 13%.
  • France — 12.2%.


The minimum number of expenses:

  • Ireland — 4.5%.
  • Estonia — 4.5%.


The size of the pension of a European citizen is 0.58% of the salary before retirement. 11% of people do not quit their jobs after retirement due to the fear of poverty.

The trend to increase the retirement age in EU countries is inevitable, so over time the age threshold will be raised in each country.


Pensions in Spain for Spaniards

Undoubtedly, the life of Spanish pensioners has a number of advantages:

  • Graceful, mild climate. Warm winter with little precipitation throughout the year. Sun and sea more than 300 days a year.
  • Healthy and tasty food. A cycle of freshly caught seafood and vegetables and fruits picked from the garden without GMOs.
  • High standard of living and medicine.
  • Good environmental situation. In this highly developed country, the state of the environment is constantly monitored. Many natural parks and reserves.
  • An abundance of entertainment for every taste. Not only for youth and family couples but also for the elderly generation. Golf courses, clubs by interests, and other accessible events for pensioners.


Pension in Spain


Spain is not in vain called the country of happy long-livers. The life expectancy of Spaniards has increased to 83 years. Women live approximately up to 86 years. Predicting people’s lives up to 2040, analysts suggest that in 15 years, women will live on average up to 90 years.

The life expectancy of Spaniards depends on the region. Long-livers, as a rule, live in the northern part of the country. Residents of Madrid live longer — more than 85 years, regardless of gender. In second place are Castile, Leon, Navarre — 84 years. They are followed by La Rioja, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Cantabria, and Aragon. In the last place are Ceuta and Melilla, where people live up to 80 years. The least life expectancy is in Andalusia. Below average in Extremadura, Valencia, and Murcia. And yet, the life expectancy in the country is higher than the global average — Spain is ahead of almost 195 countries by these indicators.

Life in retirement in Spain can become a real fairy tale if you carefully think through and plan your move. Sun, sea, delicious food, rich culture, and friendly people — all this awaits you in this magnificent country. From the moment of retirement begins a free life for communication with relatives and friends, travel. For pensioners here, all roads are open, including for learning.