If you are moving to Portugal to live and work you might be wondering if they have a social security system similar to that of your own country. Portugal does have a social security system, or seguranca social as it is called in Portuguese, that is more than likely very similar to what you have in your home country. Portugal also has reciprocal agreements with some countries that allow you to get benefits in Portugal based on contributions you made to your home country’s social security system.
The Portuguese social security system is available to everyone that is working, even those that are self-employed. The social security system in Portugal provides numbers benefits to those that are entitled to it. Some of the benefits provided by the social security system in Portugal are health care, retirement, death, disability, and maternity benefits. Employers and their employees are required to register with the social security system authorities and make regular contributions. If you are not required to register you are still able to do so if you wish.
When you begin working in Portuguese, your employer will have to notify the social security system authorities that you have started employment will begin making contributions to the system. Your employer will automatically deduct your contributions from your wages and submit them to the social security system authorities on your behalf. Your contributions are based on your income. For social security purposes, all of the following are considered income: regular wages, bonuses, any remuneration including food or lodging, overtime wages, shift differential wages, dangerous work differential, suspension wages, early retirement wages, and early dismissal wages.
There is some income that is considered exempt from social security contributions in Portugal. Exempt income includes travel expenses and allowances, sick pay, pension pay, military service pay, educational reimbursement pay, profit related pay and a few other special instances.
Your contributions to the social security system in Portugal are based solely on your monthly income and there is no cap on the amount of contributions. If you are self-employed, your contributions are between one to 12 times the national minimum wage, with that amount being at your discretion. The monthly minimum wage is around 400 Euros. If you are a company director then there is a cap which is 12 times the monthly minimum wage. But if you are over the age of 55 you are allowed to make contributions on your actual salary if it exceeds the 2 times the monthly minimum wage cap.
Portugal does have reciprocal agreements with all of the European Union countries as well as the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, United States and Venezuela. This means that payments you have made to social security in one of these countries will be taken into account in Portugal.