Pensions in Spain and Portugal

Pensions in Spain and Portugal


This document aims to provide an updated and comprehensive as possible first description, while compact and accessible for the general public, of existing pension schemes in Spain and Portugal.

Few people are actually aware that there are several pension schemes beyond the so-called general or special public pension 'schemes' in the key public schemes. Many workers, in fact, do not know what pension plan or scheme they belong to, what contributions are made on their behalf or by them, what the basic rules for calculating pensions are and what possibilities they have to complement public pensions through private pensions. For this reason, this document outlines existing pension schemes in the two Iberian countries, whose common stock is the public contributory pension scheme of the Social Security system inspired by the continental European model of professional social insurance established in the last quarter of the nineteenth century by the Bismarckian Prussia.

Key aspects

A public contributory pension scheme remains in both countries that is based on the PAYG method

In both countries there are non-contributory or solidarity public pension schemes for workers who have not been able to contribute enough

Full content of the publication


Pension funds and plans Pension savings plans Pensions Pensions Political reforms Private pensions Public pensions Social security Sustainability of pensions


Jorge Bravo

José Antonio Herce

Chairman of the BBVA Pensions Institute's Experts Board

Additional Information

Date published


Document Type

Working paper


Portugal, Spain





Related publications

26 March 2021

Pension and health systems in Latin America

In the 21st century, social protection in the countries of the region will be strongly conditioned by labor informality,...

10 December 2018

The use of behavioral sciences to increase savings for retirement in Mexico

The decision-making process around retirement may seem simple.

10 December 2018

VI Survey of the BBVA Pensions Institute

Longevity Survey 2018