Types of retirement

We'll provide a simple explanation of the types of retirement that exist

There are various types of retirement based on retirement age, whether partial or full retirement is selected, and other requirements that employees must meet when they retire

Ordinary retirement:

This is the type of retirement that applies to employees who retire at the standard age established by law, which in 2017 is 65 years and 5 months for those who have made contributions for less than 36 years and 3 months, or 65 years for those who have made contributions for this length of time or longer.

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Early retirement:

In general there are three different modes for this: Individuals belonging to certain groups, such as those with certain disabilities or those working in professions that are considered to present hazards or health risks, may be able to retire early under special conditions.

  • Early retirement due to involuntary dismissal: This type of retirement must take place following involuntary dismissal for objective causes related to business restructuring. At least 33 years of effective contributions must also be verified. This type allows retirement to take place up to 4 years earlier than normal.
  • Early retirement due to voluntary resignation: This requires enrollment in Spain's Social Security system or the equivalent, along with verification of at least 35 years of effective contributions. This allows retirement to be take place up to 2 years earlier than normal.
  • Early retirement without being a member of a mutual benefit society (a 'mutualista' in Spanish): This mode is covered under earlier legislation, although anyone who was involuntarily dismissed prior to April 2013 and who retired prior to January 1, 2019 may take advantage of it. It requires verification of at least 30 years of contributions and allows retirement to take place up to 4 years earlier than normal.

Partial retirement:

Any retirement initiated after an individual has reached 60 years of age and with simultaneous existence of part-time employment is considered as partial. This employment may or may not be associated with a relief contract signed with an unemployed worker or a contract that a worker has signed with an employer for a specific period of time.

Flexible retirement:

Flexible retirement represents another situation where a retirement pension can be combined with a part-time employment contract, although in this case the workday limits established in article 12.6 of Spain's Workers' Rights Statute must be respected, with the benefits being received reduced by the same proportion as the reduction made to the employee's workday compared to the hours of a comparable full-time employee. Since March 17, 2013 the length of the workday that must be worked in order to be eligible for this type of retirement has fluctuated between 50% and 75% of the full-time workday.

Active retirement:

This retirement mode allows combination of 50% of the retirement pension with part-time or full-time work, whether as an employee or via self-employment. In order to be eligible for this mode you must have retired at the regular age that corresponds to you, and you must have made contributions in an amount representing 100% of the legally required base.

Deferred retirement:

This refers to any retirement by an employee that is taking place at an age above the one representing the regular retirement age. This mode of retirement is intended to encourage extension of the active working years, with an incentive therefore being provided in the form of an increase in pension benefits. This increase tends to range between 2% and 4% for each additional year of contributions made beyond the normal retirement age.

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Requirements for retirement

In order to start receiving benefits based upon the contributions you have made into a retirement pension system, you must comply with two requirements at the time when your retirement contingency occurs:

  • Verification of at least 15 years of contributions.
  • Verification of a minimum of 2 years of contributions within the 15-year interval immediately prior to occurrence of the retirement contingency.

In the case of part-time workers, these requirements must be adapted to the verified, overall proportion of full-time work that the worker has completed during his or her entire working life.

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