How does the Brazilian INSS period for retirement in Portugal work out?

15 de March, 2019

How does the Brazilian INSS period for retirement in Portugal work out?

Reading: 11 min

This doubt about retirement (called “retirement” in Portugal) is recurrent among Brazilians who have decided to live in Portugal and are of economically active age, that is, among Brazilian workers, investors, entrepreneurs or even students. And the truth is that this information (of high relevance!) is often not easily accessible or even clear to most stakeholders. In this article, we will try to clarify how the Brazilian INSS for Retirement in Portugal looks like.

Brazil’s INSS for Retirement in Portugal: see how to take advantage of the contribution

We will then try to help by answering the main questions that orbit the issue of retirement in Portugal for Brazilians who live in the country, but keep in mind an important aspect in this context: we are talking about the issue in a current scenario, that is, considering the legislation in force in Brazil and Portugal, as well as the Social Security Agreement in force currently between these two countries.

Preliminary Stage: how can I confirm my contribution situation in Brazil (INSS)?

Well, first of all, we recommend obtaining the CNIS – National Social Information Register of the interested party with the INSS of Brazil, in order to proceed with the analysis of this statement and verification of any registration or payment gaps, in order to resolve as soon as possible any existing divergence.

At this moment, it is worth an important advice: always keep all your documents of Brazilian bonds, that is, Work Permit, hollerites, vacation receipts, TRCT – Termination of the Work Contract, PIS numbers, GPS cards, etc.. These documents will be necessary to sanitize or confirm links with social security in Brazil.

Currently, there is no Social Security post here in Portugal to help, so the issue of the INSS of Brazil for Retirement in Portugal should be addressed by the interested party itself. In the meantime, you will be able to count on specialized advice on the subject and able to give you support in Portugal and Brazil to correct any gaps and regularize your CNIS, if necessary.

In any case, the Brazilian government has been in operation since 2018, with eSocial, which is the database of all social and economic data of Brazilian workers and, certainly, in the near future, we will be able to count on virtual support for adjustments in CNIS. However, if this is not the case, a trip to Brazil may be necessary to resolve these issues before retiring.

So, with everything in place on your CNIS, let’s move on.

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I contributed to the INSS in Brazil: can I retire in Portugal?
The good news is that YES: you can retire in Portugal!

Portugal and Brazil have bilateral agreements for Social Security, both in public health care and in social security and assistance. Therefore, your period at the INSS, registered by the Social Security Technology and Information Company – DATAPREV, will be recognized in the Portuguese Social Security System, if you meet the requirements in effect at the time of your request.

In Portugal, it is currently only possible to retire due to old age or permanent disability. The minimum retirement age in 2019 is 66 years and 5 months, and the government progressively increases by one month per year.

However, if you reach your 40th birthday by adding up your INSS contribution periods in Brazil and here at Social Security in Portugal, regardless of age, your retirement will be granted.

But bear in mind that it is not always advantageous to retire in Portugal. Check out the reasons below.

Can I bring my entire period from Brazil without contributing anything here in Portugal?

Yeah, it’s possible too!

But it is important to know, for example, that if you already have 15, 20, 30 or 40 years of exclusive contribution in the INSS of Brazil, and you retire tomorrow here in Portugal, when requesting the transfer of the period to the Portuguese Social Security, the system calculates only considering the period and not the ceiling value of Brazil! In other words, you will receive the minimum insurance ceiling in Portugal, which by 2019 is 219€.

The Social Security of Portugal does not convert your collections from reais to euros! We have already prevented clients, previously misguided, from using the INSS of Brazil for Retirement in Portugal thinking that it would be better because I believed that I would receive the same amount in Brazil converted into euros.

Therefore, it is imperative to analyze if it is advantageous or not to migrate the receipt of retirement! It will depend on your age and how much you collected in Brazil. It is a financial analysis that we usually advise on a case-by-case basis.

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What are the prerequisites of time and age for retirement in Portugal?

To have contributed to the Social Security – General System (employees and entrepreneurs) for at least 180 contributions (15 years) and to be over 66 years and 6 months old, in 2019.

For those who have opted for voluntary social insurance, the requirement is 144 contributions (12 years).

If you do not have the full deadline and you reach old age, you will only be entitled to the old-age social pension, which, as we have said before, is the minimum amount of €219. Early retirement is possible for Brazilians but, as in Brazil, there may be losses. The following are the main possibilities for applying for early retirement:

  • Be 60 years of age or older and 40 years of discount or more (flexibility scheme) or;
  • be in involuntary long-term unemployment or;
  • Have a professional activity of a painful or stressful nature (miners, professional maritime fishing workers, air traffic controllers, dancers, port workers and embroiderers of Madeira) or;
  • be covered by specific protection measures.

Again, analyzing the concrete case is necessary. There are people who, in Brazil, contributed as an employee, then as self-employed, then came to live in Portugal, contributed as a volunteer, then moved to an employee, etc. The rules blend together and preventive analysis is required before using Brazil’s INSS for retirement in Portugal.

How is the period and amounts contributed in Brazil considered for the purpose of calculating the reform?

First it is important to have general notions of how to calculate the value of retirement in Portugal, which can be:

  • Option 01: the average remuneration you have declared per month to Social Security for the best 10 years of the last 15 years of discounts;
  • Option 02: the average remuneration declared per month to Social Security during all the years in which it discounted (up to a limit of 40 years).

In order to have an expectation of what would be the value of its retirement due to old age if it opts for the registration of the time of contribution of the INSS of Brazil for Retirement in Portugal, this value will be calculated considering only the amounts effectively collected in Portugal. Therefore, as explained above, the period of collection in Brazil will be considered only for the time count (guarantee period) and never for the value of the old-age pension.

The Global Training Rate and Sustainability Factor, which is similar to the Social Security Factor in force in Brazil, will also apply to the amount found (Reference Remuneration) by applying the average, whether in option 01 or 02. They reduce the value of the retirement due to the life expectancy of the Portuguese citizen, if the beneficiary claims the retirement before completing the minimum age of the case in question.

There is a table that lists the ratio contribution time x minimum benefit value.

In general terms, we can say that the maximum amount will be indexed by the ceiling of 8 x IAS – Social Support Index, which currently corresponds to 435.76€ plus correction. If there are collections below 8 IAS, these will be included in the calculation in the period in years and fixed correction.

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inss retirement portugal

I do not work in Portugal, can I continue to pay only at the INSS of Brazil?

Yes! Absolutely.

You can join Social Security as an optional insured, and collect 20% up to the limit of the social security ceiling in force at each time, according to the current rules. You will be entitled to all benefits: sickness benefit, accident, pension for dependents, retirement for time or permanent disability.

An alert: If you decide to contribute to the Social Security of Brazil, only make your payments in a Brazilian bank, even if you are linked to a Brazilian bank here in Portugal (e.g. Banco do Brasil). Pay your contributions online, via a bank system (branch and account) based in Brazil. Don’t run the risk of having your contributions in limbo.

I do not work in Brazil or in Portugal, can I collect only for the Portuguese Social Security?

Yes, of course!

This category is called Voluntary Insured and, for this purpose, it is necessary that the foreigner who does not carry out any paid activity in Portugal or in Brazil, has one year of residence and, in order to collect, must choose a contribution band, complying with a staggered table of remuneration set in IAS with a grace period of 12 months in each one, until the maximum. The rate is 26.90% per month.

1 – 1 x IAS435,76€
2nd – 1.5 x IAS653,64€
3º – 2 x IAS871,52€
4 – 2.5 x IAS1.089,40€
5º – 3 x IAS1.307,28€
6º – 4 x IAS1.743,04€
7th – 5th x IAS2.178,80€
8 – 6 x IAS2.614,56€
9 – 7 x IAS3.050,32€
10 – 8 x IAS3.486,08€

This table reminds us a lot of that old “Base Wage Scale” that had in the INPS (old INSS), that was extinct in the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso… calm that we are not so “of the old”, but we study a lot the social security legislation, therefore, there are clients with contributions of the time of the 90s and until before, and that we need to know some pretéritas rules.

Returning to Portugal, it is always possible to go down in step, but you will always have to stay 12 months. To go up in step before 12 months, depends on the proximity of the current age and the minimum age to retire.

If you cease to be covered by voluntary social insurance and rejoin, the step remains the same as you were before the end of the period or you can opt for the next higher step, regardless of your age.

Choosing to contribute to Portuguese Social Security as a volunteer, what benefits would I have guaranteed?

It is also worth mentioning that, by contributing as a Voluntary Insured Person, the only possible benefits are the disability, old age and death pensions. Disease, it’s not covered.

In order to have access to social protection in situations of disability, old age and death, there is a need and they are necessary:

Invalidity: 72 months of contributions;

  • Old age: 144 months of contributions;
  • Death: survivor’s pension: 72 months of contributions | Death grant: 36 months of contributions.

What documents do I need for Portuguese Voluntary Insurance?

  • Photocopy of civil identification document, namely foreign citizen’s card, residence permit or passport;
  • Declaration, on oath of honour, that the person concerned is not covered by a compulsory social protection scheme or that, if it is not, it is not the same as the relevant one in the Portuguese social security system;
  • Medical certification proving that the person concerned is fit for work.
  • Student visa for Portugal: see the necessary documents and costs.

Student visa for Portugal: see the necessary documents and costs.

And who is retired in Brazil, has something to worry about?

If you are retired by Brazil, reside in Portugal either by Portuguese citizenship or in the D7 visa modality, you will need to do your life proof, for the INSS, for the annual re-registration. To do so, you should go to one of the units of the Consulate of Brazil in Lisbon, Porto or Faro, in the month of your birthday.

There is a fee that is charged for this consular service and the Certificate of Life must be sent, by international mail, directly to the agency of the INSS in which you had the benefit granted, if you do not have a proxy with powers with the INSS.

I am retired in Brazil, I have citizenship or a D7 Visa, if I am an entrepreneur or employee in Portugal will I have to contribute to the Social Security General Regime?

Yes! Just like in Brazil.

The difference is that if you are already retired in Brazil and start/continues to work, you are obliged to contribute to the INSS and this will not increase your retirement and will not give you other social security benefits. Here in Portugal, the fact that you are a mandatory taxpayer in the country will give you all the rights of any citizen who contributes and will have all the benefits, fulfilled the needs, as the case may be.

And, in case I come back to Brazil, can I migrate my period of contribution from the Portuguese Social Security to the INSS?


But this option is only really advantageous in some scenarios, of which we will cite two: your contribution in Portugal does not reach the age of 12 or you have always contributed with very low value. This is because the INSS, when it records periods coming from Portugal, considers the time of contribution and the amount contributed, that is, it converts its contribution from Euros to Real, something that Portugal does not do due to the devaluation of the Brazilian currency and considers only the time of contribution.

However, each case is a case and should be considered in its particularity.

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Final Considerations

It is worth mentioning, once again, that all of this depends a lot on the personal scenario and assuming that the contributory life in the INSS is all regular in the data base of Brazil, which does not always happen and, therefore, we always do the CNIS research of each interested party that demands us.

In addition, we must bear in mind that “tidying up the house” now, regardless of your age, is always an advantage, especially with the changes foreseen in Brazil’s Welfare Reform and that, as we know, is the subject of all the countries that have some contributory deficit and with Portugal it is no different.

You lose nothing in having everything organized and very clear in your mind, quite the contrary!

If you still have any questions or would like additional information about the use of your INSS do Brasil for retirement in Portugal, our team is at your disposal.

*This article is for information purposes only, and is not intended to exhaust the subject or to be used to make decisions about the subject by its readers.

Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/inss-do-brasil-para-aposentadoria-em-portugal/

Author: Verenna Melo
Social Security and Tax Consulting



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