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Retiring to Portugal and Pension Issues

Portugal - Retiring to Portugal and Pension Issues

Portugal is a popular retirement destination for people from all around the world. A mild climate, gorgeous coastline and plentiful sunny beaches combined with excellent food and inexpensive world-class wine have made it a haven for retirees.

The Algarve and the Azores Islands are among the areas that have experienced an influx of foreign retirees and real estate investment in recent years. Property prices and the cost of living in Portugal are still low enough to attract many retired Europeans in particular. The Algarve is cheaper than the Costa del Sol or the Riviera and has even more beautiful beaches.

Another reason Portugal is viewed as a desirable place to retire is the friendliness of its inhabitants. The Portuguese are a generally kind and hospitable people, welcoming foreign visitors into their homes and culture with warmth and compassion.


The taxation of pensions originating in member EU states and elsewhere abroad varies according to the type of pension and applicable Double Tax Treaties.

Private pensions and annuities are generally regarded as income, depending on residency status. As tax residents are required to pay tax on their worldwide income, it is advisable to consult a qualified tax specialist to determine your liability.

Public service pensions are generally tax-exempt in Portugal when taxed in the country of origin.

National insurance retirement pensions may be exempt from taxes in the country of origin, but may be considered taxable income in Portugal. Again, if in any doubt consult a tax professional.

Note: Pension income is usually tax exempt up to a certain amount (Euros 7,805 in 2000), but this exemption will be decreased if your income is over Euros 72,000. Check with a finance expert for current figures on this exemption.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.