Social Security


The Social Security System in Portugal is a very broad system, similar to other European systems, and is complemented by multiple instruments. It applies to all individuals working in Portugal, either as employees or self-employed.

    The main benefits of the Portuguese Social Security system include:
  • Sickness benefits;
  • Parental Benefits (maternity, paternity and adoption);
  • Invalidity Pension;
  • The Old-Age Pension;
  • Survivor's Pension;
  • Unemployment Benefits;
  • Social Unemployment Benefits (non-contributory);
  • Compensation for Temporary Incapacity for Work (occupational disease);
  • Pension for Permanent Incapacity for Work (occupational disease).

Some supplementary systems are available, which are optional and comprises supplementary group-initiative schemes (including supplementary professional schemes promoted by certain trades unions and, in particular, pension funds, which are financed essentially by employer organisations), individual initiative schemes (which take the form of savings/retirement plans, life assurance, capitalization insurance and mutual schemes), and a public capitalization scheme that is the responsibility of the state, which complements the benefits provided by the welfare subsystem and of which membership by workers is voluntary.

Any citizen engaged in paid activity must make contributions to Social Security. If you are employed by a company, your employer will communicate your employment to the Social Security and subsequently require your NISS (Portuguese Social Security Number). For further information, please see the appropriate brochure for employers. If you are coming from a country with which Portugal has signed a Convention on Social Security and you are working temporarily in Portugal, you may obtain exemption from payment of contributions in Portugal. For further information, please visit the appropriate Social Security section. If you are self-employed, for information on your obligations, please see the Social Security Practical Guide on Enrolment, Change, and Termination of Independent Worker Activity.

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