Social Security

Liable and exclusions

People liable

Social security contributions are due on the remuneration obtained by:

  • employees;
  • board members;
  • self-employed workers.

Excluded income

  • Daily allowances (up to the limits applicable for Portuguese personal income tax purposes).
  • Retirement pension contributions.
  • Sickness benefit contributions.
  • Transportation expenses. (1)
  • Profit distributions. (2)
  • Reimbursement for unused holidays.
  • Indemnity for the termination of the labour contract. (3)
  • Lunch allowance (up to certain limits).
  • Ocasional medical assistance/hospitalisation subsidies.
  • Subsidy for the employees’ family expenses. (4)
  • Discounts granted to the workers for the acquisition of shares from the own company.

(1) In case the company makes available transportation to its employees or the transportation expenses paid by the company do not exceed the value of the social pass. In case there is no social pass, it should be considered the value of the social pass that the employee would hypothetically pay for the utilization of collective transportation. In all the above situations, this benefit should have a general character.
(2) Provided that a fixed, variable or mixed remuneration provided to the worker is appropriate to his/her functions.
(3) The exemption is applicable in the follow situations:
   - By virtue of judicial declaration of the illegality of the dismissal;
   - By collective dismissals, by the elimination of the position; by inability of the worker to perform the job; by expiry of the work contract; by termination by the employer or in lieu of notice;
   - By the termination of the employment contract prior to the end date, in case of labor contract with a term.
(4) Namely expenses regarding nurseries, kindergarten, educational establishments, retirement homes and other services or social support establishment.

International conventions

Employees from countries with which Portugal has signed a Convention on Social Security, working temporarily in Portugal, may obtain exemption from the payment of contributions in Portugal.

(1) This period may be extended.
(2) Applicable to Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
(3) The Convention only be effective between those States when the Implementing Agreement enters into force for those States.
(4) These conventions are not yet in force.


Description Employee Company
Employees 11% 23.75%
Handicapped with undetermined term labour contract (1) 11% 11.9%
First Job and long term unemployment 11% -2
Employment-Education rotation 11% -3
Employees in early-retirement period:
Suspension of the performance of work 8.6% 18.3%
Reduction of the performance of work Remain with the fixed rate at the time of the early-retirement
Pensioners in employed activity
Age 7.5% 16.4%
Handicap 8.9% 19.3%
Statutory board members (4) 9.3%/11% 20.3%/23.75%
Self-employed 29.6% /34.75% (5) 5% (6)
Short term Assignment
To other countries -7  
To Portugal -8  
Unemployment allowance 6%  
Sickness allowance 5%  
Termination payment funds   1% (9)

(1) Ability to work less than 80%.
(2) Exemption for a period of 36 months. In addition to these measures for 2014, there are also other benefits available to contract unemployed individuals, consisting on the reduction or exemption of contributions due by the employers.
(3) Exemption for the period during which the education occurs with the limit of 12 months.
(4) With the minimum of one IAS (€ 421.32).From 2014, the members of the governing board (MJG) are liable to social security contributions on the remuneration earned in any of the entities where they are members of the board without any maximum limit. Members of the governing board who perform management or administration functions are entitled to protection in the event of unemployment. The contribution rate applicable to these MGB is set at a rate of 34.75%, 23.75% and 11% to employers and MGB, respectively. For other MGB the rate applicable is 20,3% and 9,3% to employers and MGB, respectively.
(5) After the first twelve months of the beginning of activity (at least) and if the gross annual income is above of € 3,611.31. Social protection granted to self-employees who are entrepreneurs and owners of Individual Establishment of Limited Responsibility shall include the right to protection in the event of unemployment. In these cases, the contribution rate is set at 34.75%. During the year of 2017, the Portuguese Government could review the basis for the calculation of the contributions made by self-employed persons to Portuguese Social Security, guaranteeing that these are calculated based on the income effectively earned by taxpayers, taking as a reference the most recent months in which remuneration was received.
(6) The 5% contribution rate due by employers will only be applied if 80% or more of the amount of rendered services is for the same person with a business activity, or to the same Group. This obligation is only applicable with respect to self-employee’s that has the obligation to contribute to the social-security as such and with respect to self-employee’s with a gross annual income above € 2.515,32.
(7) May continue to make contributions in Portugal.
(8) May continue to make contributions in the country of origin, being temporarily exempt in Portugal.
(9) These are funds that ensure the employee’s entitlement to receive half of the termination payment amount.

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