Getting a good pension to comfortably spend the end of life is one of the obsessions of the self-employed and, probably, the bulk of the workers. However, self-employed professionals have a series of characteristics and conditions that make their cases always something special.

How many years do freelancers have to work?
The Social Security explains on its website that, in general, the pension of workers in the Special Scheme for Self – Employed, the Reta, “the same terms and conditions” that of employed persons adheres. For them, therefore, it will be necessary to take into account both the years worked and the regulatory base .

Thus, to access a retirement pension, the self-employed will need, at least, 15 years, the mandatory period for the minimum pension, 50% of the regulatory base. As the contribution years increase, they are entitled to a higher percentage of the regulatory base: in 2021 (and 2022) 0.21% is added for each of the following 106 months and 0.19% for other 146, so that the maximum amount of the pension, 100% of the regulatory base, can be obtained after 36 years of contributions.

It is a section that is gradually increasing in a plan set by the Government that intends that in 2027 it will take 37 years of work to qualify for 100% of the regulatory base . For that year, the retirement age will be 65 years when they work at least 38 years and six months and 67 years for those who do not reach that age.

How is the self-employed pension calculated?
All these requirements are applicable to the self-employed, as well as the formula to determine the regulatory base, which will mark the maximum amount of pension to which one can aspire. In 2021, it will be the result of dividing by 336 the amount of the contribution bases of the last 24 years, 288 months (for 2022 the divisor and the years will be increased to 350 and 25, respectively).

Here are the main differences with employed workers, since the self-employed choose their own contribution bases (they can change them up to four times a year) for which they contribute up to 30.3% to Social Security. For 2021, the minimum base is 944.40 euros and the maximum base is 4,070.10 euros, which implies payments of a minimum of 286 and a maximum of 1,232 euros.

The problem is given because the majority of the self-employed usually contribute a large part of their activity time for the minimum base , which means that their regulatory base may be lower and their pension, therefore, lower . In this regard, the plans of the Ministry of Social Security contemplate a new system of up to 13 different sections for the self-employed to contribute by their real income.

Although the contribution bases can be changed freely, there are restrictions for the self-employed who were 47 years old on January 1, 2021: only those who had a base of at least 2,052 euros per month in December 2020 will be able to maintain that freedom of choice, since those who listed for less will only be able to do so from that moment up to 2,077.80 euros at most. In addition, in these cases self-employed workers aged 48 or over on January 1, 2021 will have a minimum base of 1,018.50 euros.

Delayed retirement: a wild card for the self-employed
Still, there is the possibility of extending your working life in order to get an extra bite for your retirement pension. It is about delayed retirement, which grants certain extra percentages of regulatory base for each year of contributions beyond the ordinary retirement age :

-A 2% per year worked extra for workers with less than 25 years of contributions.

-A 2.75% more per year worked for workers between 25 and 37 years of contributions.

-A 4% for workers with more than 37 years of contributions.

In this sense, the reform proposed by Escrivá also has new features for delayed retirement , since it contemplates a single payment of 12,000 euros per extra year of delayed retirement or an extra 4% of the regulatory base, also including an option that combines the two.

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