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Portugal ends the bargain of the 'tax free' pensions of retired Spanish executives


Portugal I no longer rent. The Portuguese country is going to stop being an oasis. A tax haven where thousands of pensioners from other countries came to wet their feet. As is the case of the Spaniards, who run out of bargain. Especially the retired managers of entities such as Banco Santander, where they received their net pension and took it to the neighboring country, to enjoy tax exemptions. Until now. And it is that the Portuguese socialist government, under the pressure of Brussels and the left of the country, will require new foreign residents 10% of their pensions.

Madonna. Philippe Starck. And another 28,000 people, including 9,000 pensioners. All of them "have moved" to Portugal to be embraced by this especially generous tax regime of the Law on Non-Resident Residents (RNH, for its acronym in English).

Now, they are cornered by a government that shares the same political sign as the one that imposed this foreign capital attraction program in 2009. And it does so to silence the left, represented by Bloco from Esquerda and the Communist Party, who do they need to achieve the parliamentary majority and the green light to their annual budgets.

Not only is Brussels and the Portuguese left. Finland, Sweden and France have also charged against this measure. The first two came to denounce him although only 2,000 of his retirees have put land in between to avoid the Treasury of his country. In the Gallic case, the issue has gained importance since the revolts of the yellow vests that continue to put the Government of Macron.

How does one receive the umbrella of the RNH? Rent a house. Reside in it for at least 180 days a year. Or intend to do so. That, and not having had fiscal residence in Portugal until now. As a fact to keep in mind, a third of retired foreigners who land on Portuguese lands are French fleeing from the siege to the great fortunes of their country.


For the golden visa the thing changes. The Portuguese are only granted to foreigners who invest at least 500,000 euros in the country's brick. Or double this figure in the rest of the sectors. Or to those who create a business that works at least 10 people.

From its imposition in 2012 to 2019, Portugal has registered more than 8,200 golden visas. Of these, more than half belong to Chinese citizens. Investment in real estate is the preferred alternative and accounts for 4,500 of the 5,000 million euros raised so far.

"The current foreign pension scheme is not sustainable," he acknowledges Nuno Cunha Barnabé, from Abreu Advocated, in statements to Financial times. "But taxing the great fortunes will go against the people who have helped put Portugal on the map," he adds.

The measure will be approved in mid-February coming into force next March and will not have retroactive effects.

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