Spain Explained

Spanish residency for pensioners

Last updated on February 19th, 2020 at 01:38 am.

Many people are confused when it comes to what they need to apply for residency in Spain. In this series of four articles, David Ruiz of Torrevieja Translation, explains what the specific requirements are for pensioners.

This is the second article of a series of five articles on Spanish residency for EU and British citizens.

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Here is the table of contents:

  1. Spanish residency overview
  2. Pensioners
  3. Workers
  4. Self-employed/business
  5. Unemployed

Our article Mini guide to Spanish residency – an overview covers the general points you should be aware of if applying for residency in Spain.

This article concentrates on EU and British pensioners.

Read on 🙂

Exclusive requirements for EU and British pensioners

There are two key requirements: financial means and health coverage.

Let’s dive in.

A) Financial means

This key element contains some parts that will possibly change depending on the police station.

For instance, the usual requirement for your pension will be the Spanish minimum wage: €655. However, some police stations will process your residency with just savings (between €6000-€7000 per person).

Another important detail is whether you can keep your pension at your country of origin or if it has to be sent to a Spanish bank monthly.

Some police stations will allow you to become a resident straight away, but other won’t until you live in Spain for at least three months.

Either way, you will have to get a bank statement with either your savings or for the last three months.

Don’t forget to speak with your corresponding Spanish National Police station to clarify what’s actually needed.

B) Health coverage

In the UK, the document the pension service in Newcastle issues is called: ‘S1 form’.

However, I’ve heard of other countries that use E121 or E106 forms. Just ask your national pension service organisation, as well as the Spanish police station where you’ll apply for your residency.

Important: Double check that the forms from your country of origin have your details correctly (name, address, etc) as well as that you have health coverage in Spain.

Are you only on a private pensions? Then you may have to take private insurance that grants full coverage in Spain and has no co-payments.

These are the type of details that can vary from one police station to another. Just go in person to find out 🙂

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Will you need an interpreter?

Good question. As many things in Spain, it will depend on the office.

If you take all the requirements correctly, then you won’t need anybody to interpret for you.

The question is: how would you know the requirements beforehand if you don’t speak Spanish and don’t go in person to find out?

You simply wouldn’t.

My suggestion is that you take an interpreter with you. I see foreigners frustrated all the time at all kind of public offices because they expect everybody will speak English everywhere.

Then some people get very upset and spread their disappointment on Facebook Groups, as if Spain had done something against them in particular, on purpose.

It’s not that bad.

A good interpreter will solve the problem and can be your personal guide.

Would you like to read more?

Click here to access the Ultimate Guide on Spanish Residency

Torrevieja Translations

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6 March, 2018 4:36 pm

Hello, I have owned my house
Hello, I have owned my house in Spain since 2005 and therefore have my NIE number. I have good pensions but they must be paid into a UK bank account. How can I prove my good guaranteed income in order to apply for residency? Please can you advise me. Many thanks.

Suzanne O'Connell

9 March, 2018 1:01 pm

Hi Madeleine

Hi Madeleine

It depends on the office where you have to apply. In this area, the common approach is to send to a Spanish bank account around €800 and provide the police with the official pension certificate. However, this can change quite quickly. Our recommendation is that you query at the relevant office before applying. 


25 November, 2019 4:13 pm

I an a citizen, I have pension income of £14,000 a year, do I need cash in bank or would pension be deemed sufficient

Oscar Paoli

26 November, 2019 3:24 pm

Hi John,
Normally you have to justify monthly income with your Pension and if you have no Pension with money in your bank account.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Brenda Darling

9 March, 2020 9:43 am

Can I leave my pension in England when I get a residentia in spain.

Oscar Paoli

26 March, 2020 10:24 pm

Hi Brenda,
Yes you can have you Pensions paid anywhere you want but they still have to be declared and Taxed in Spain.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Gordon Skingle

28 July, 2020 3:23 pm

I want to apply for residency, but, although i have a Euro account which pays my bills etc. My pension is paid into an English stirling account. My question is do i need a Spanish bank account which I dont need or want. My area is San Miguel de Salinas.
Kind regards, Gordon

Oscar Paoli

28 July, 2020 8:43 pm

Hi Gordon,
We would recommend you to speak with our relocation adviser collaborator David Ruiz. He will go through everything with you, timing, financial means, healthcare, etc. If you wish to contact him directly please send him an email at
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers