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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).
  • Occasional 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 labour 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.

Country Exemption (months) (1)
European Union Member States, EEA and Switzerland 24 (2)
Decree nr. 20/2014
Notice nr. 2/2011
12 (3)
Principality of Andorra
Notice nr. 106-A/91
Rectification nr. 102/2004
24 (4)
Adminstrative arrangement
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 228/2003
Parliament Resolution nr. 6/2009
Decree nr. 12/2009
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 80/2013
Cabo Verde
Rectification nr. 26/2005
Rectification nr. 47/2005
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 379/2007
Notice nr. 135/2018
Notice nr. 142/2018
Canada 24
Canada – Quebec 24
Decree nr. 57/99
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 116/2001
United States of America
Adminstrative arrangement: Decree nr. 47/88
Adminstrative arrangement: Decree nr. 30/99
24 (4)
Decree nr. 5/2017
Notice nr. 100/2017
60 (1)
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 127/2010
Notice nr. 102/2017
24 (1)
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 241/2011
Decree nr. 21/2017
Notice nr 134/2017
24 (1)(4)
United Kingdom, with respect to the Channel Islands ( Jersey , Guernsey , Alderney, Herm, Jethou) and Isle of Man
Decree nr. 16/79
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 451/2005
Rectification nr. 1/2006
24 (4)
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 96/2010
Notice nr. 78/2010
Adminstrative arrangement: Notice nr. 3/2012
Venezuela 24

(1) This period may be extended, taking into consideration the provisions of the applicable agreement.
(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.
(5) This Convention is only in force in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Paraguay, Uruguay and Portugal.


Description Employee Company
Employees 11% 23.75%

Students in school holidays



Handicapped with undetermined term labour contract (1)



Very long term unemployment



First Job and long term unemployment



Employees in early-retirement period, whose agreement foresees:

1) Suspension of the performance of work



2) Reduction of the performance of work

Remain with the fixed rate at the time of the early-retirement

Pensioners in employed activity:

1) Old Age

  • Performing public functions
  • Without performing public functions

2) Invalidity

  • Performing public functions
  • Without performing public functions

Statutory board members (4)

9.3% / 11%

20.3% / 23.75%


21.4% /25.2% (5)

7%/10% (6)

Short term Assignment

To other countries



To Portugal



Termination payment funds


1% (9)

Additional Contribution for Excessive Rotation   Up to 2% (10)

(1) Ability to work less than 80%.
(2) Exemption for a period of 3 years.
(3) 50% reduction of the contribution due by employers for a maximum period of 5 (young people looking for first job) or 3 years (long-term unemployment), under certain conditions and requirements.
(4) With the minimum of one IAS (currently, in the amount of € 435.76). 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. 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 25,2%. 
(6) The 7% contribution rate due by employers will only be applied in the cases that the amount of rendered services varies between 50% and 80% for the same person with a business activity, or to the same Group. In cases that the amount of rendered services represents more than 80%, the contribution rate is 10%. 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 an annual income above 6 x IAS (€ 2,614.56, considering the IAS in force in 2019).
(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.
(10) Additional contribution due to excessive labour rotation applicable to employers that exceed the annual average of fixed-term contracts index for each sector, regardless of their nature and purpose (this contribution will be applicable from January 1, 2020, onwards).

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