Old-age Pensions, Survivor’s, and Invalidity Benefits

A person who during his/her working life, worked in more than one EU Member State, may be eligible to claim a pension (Old-Age, Invalidity or Survivor’s) from each of these countries.

Which country pays the pension?

In each country, the insurance record is preserved until the person reaches the pensionable age.  Every country where a person has been insured for at least one year will pay an old-age pension, when the person reaches its national pensionable age.

For example, if a person worked in three countries, he/she will get three separate old-age pensions.

How is the pension calculated?

The pension will be calculated according to the insurance record in each country: the sum payable from each of these countries will correspond to the length of the person’s social security coverage in that country.  Once awarded, the person will receive a Summary note (document P1) which will provide an overview of the decisions made by each country.

In which country should a person apply?

Even if a person worked in several countries, the pension application for each country should be lodged in the country of residence.  The only exception is when the person never worked in the country of residence.  In that case, the application should be lodged in the country of last employment.

Differences in retirement ages

The retirement age across the EU countries varies considerably.  A pension from the country of residence or employment will be payable once the person reaches the legal retirement age in that country. If a person accumulated pension rights in other countries, those parts of pension rights will be payable once the person reaches the legal retirement age in those countries.  Therefore, there might be a gap in the payment of all the pension entitlements accumulated during the years. 

Retiring abroad

The pension entitlement is payable in any European Member State (EU 27 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom) in which a person resides.  The Regulations in fact provide for the principle of exportability.

Other pensions

In general, the rules, which apply to Old-Age pensions, also apply to Invalidity pensions and to pensions for Surviving spouses or orphans.

In terms of the Maltese scheme, the following benefits are considered as Old Age pensions, Survivor’s, and Invalidity Benefits:

 When a person’s work activity has been confined to the Maltese social security scheme only, or when the periods of insurance completed in Malta are such that the eligibility criteria are satisfied, the national procedures will apply.  However, if a person’s work activity involves one or more EU Member States, the EU rules on social security coordination are applied as outlined in the following scenarios.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I worked in other EU Member States during my working life, but I am now living and planning to retire in Mata. Can I transfer the contributions paid elsewhere to Malta?

No.  The funds paid in different EU Member States cannot be transferred.  What can be exchanged is the record of the payments effected in the different Member States.  A person who worked in more than one EU Member State for more than one year, will eventually be entitled to a part pension from each of these Member States.

2. I am living and working in Malta but worked in other EU Member States during my working life. How will my Maltese Old-Age Pension be calculated?

When a person reaches the Maltese statutory retirement age and decides to claim an old-age pension from Malta, a twofold assessment will be carried out;

  • a first assessment based on the contributions paid in Malta alone (national calculation) and
  • a second assessment based on the total contributions paid in Malta and in the other EU Member States of employment to determine the theoretical rate which results, had all these periods been completed in Malta. Afterwards, a pro-rata calculation is carried out to determine the actual rate of pension due according to the number of years completed in Malta out of the total (pro-rata calculation).

Ultimately, the highest rate resulting from both calculations is paid.

3. How can I claim my pension from another EU Member State while living in Malta?

If a person is living in Malta and is working or has worked in Malta at any point in time, the Department of Social Security will be responsible for compiling the claim forms and forwarding these to the competent Member State.  This should be done through the customer care office in the locality of residence as indicated here.

Alternatively, if a person resides in Malta but was never insured in the Maltese social security scheme, the person should contact the country of last insurance and follow the procedure established by that country to compile the claim forms.

4. I worked in Malta for a few years and I am now living and working in another EU country. How can I claim my Maltese pension?

If a person is insured in the Member State of residence, the social security institution in that country will be responsible for compiling the necessary claim forms and forward these to the Department of Social Security.  Once the pension claim received, the Department will contact the person directly to confirm the receipt of the claim forms.  Once the claim is processed, the person as well as the social security institution in the country of residence will be informed in writing of the outcome of the claim.

5. Now that I received my pension from Malta, am I also entitled to claim the pension from the other EU countries I worked in?

Pension entitlement depends on the statutory retirement age established in each country.  The retirement age in Malta may differ from the retirement age of another country.  Therefore, it is opportune to check the applicable statutory retirement age in the respective country before filling out the claim forms.  This would avoid that the person goes through the application process unnecessarily.

6. I worked in various EU Countries. How will I receive my pension?

When a person is entitled for a pension from more than one country, each country will pay the resulting pension amount directly to the person.  When claiming a pension, the person is required to provide a valid bank account number where each country will pay the pension.  This may result in a person receiving two or more pension payments from different countries, in different payment dates and possibly in different currencies as well.  Ultimately, the total of all payments would reflect the total working life of the person.

7. I am in receipt of a Maltese Invalidity pension whilst living in another EU country. Can I work in my country of residence?

No.  The Maltese Invalidity pension is payable on the basis that the person is totally incapable for work.  If the person is fit to resume employment, the pension is no longer due.  In this case the person is advised to inform the Department of Social Security of the intention to return to active employment/self-employment in order to stop the pension accordingly. 

8. Will my Maltese pension stop if I relocate to another country?

No.  The pensions payable under the Maltese social security scheme (Old-Age/Survivors’/Invalidity) are exportable worldwide.