Spanish Pensioners Get Double UK Amount

UK Pension Lags Far Behind Spain

Image showing UK and European currency. Credit: mundissima/

Spanish retirees outpace their British counterparts when it comes to pensions, recent studies revealed a huge disparity between pensions in Spain and the UK.

The UK state pension currently provides retirees with a maximum of £802.32 monthly. However, in comparison, the average pensioner in Spain receives a generous £2,287.24.

A European pension analysis ranked Britain 16th on the Pension Breakeven Index, indicating that the UK’s state pension is merely 16.61 per cent above the average cost of monthly bills, which averages out at £688.04, writes the Express.

Breakeven Analysis

Thus, a UK retiree dependent solely on the state pension has a modest surplus of £114.24 monthly after settling their bills. On the other hand, Spanish pensioners enjoy an income that’s 407.4 per cent above the breakeven threshold, translating to a surplus of £1,403.89 over their British counterparts.

Comparing With Belgium

Belgium, which has living costs very close to the UK at £720.45 monthly, grants a monthly state pension of £2,709.93 for those with a 45-year work history. This amount is a staggering 376 per cent above the breakeven mark, according to data from Almond Financial.

Jan Shortt from the National Pensioners Convention remarked, ‘The reality for those of us in later life is that our income is often outweighed by our outgoings.

She explained that the situation was even more acute now with energy and food costs soaring: ‘The UK is just above the breakeven point on the table and is likely to fall below that unless inflation is addressed and the economy receives investment.’

European Pension Study

The study, which excluded rents and mortgages, explored the pension system across 50 European countries, and compared pension payouts with other fiscal data. Georgia and Armenia ranked 29th and 30th, with monthly pensions of £82.34 and £67.79 respectively.

Finance expert, Sam Robinson noted, that while it was encouraging that the UK is in the top half of the list, its future position remains uncertain. He recommended that those over 66 should consider additional financial avenues instead of solely depending on the state.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Mary Rita Foster

      02 November 2023 • 14:56

      Are Spanish pensioners taxed? £ 26.000.00 IS A LARGE SUM. Irish old age pension far less.

    • Philip

      02 November 2023 • 15:48

      Well isn’t that a surprise? You do not need much more income to be taxed in the UK so I would be surprised if Spanish pensioners did not enjoy being members of the tax club.

    • Alex Anderson

      02 November 2023 • 16:40

      What absolute rubbish ..the average Spanish pension is far nearer the English amount
      The number you’re quoting is near the maximum

      And you’re not comparing like for like workers receive far more in private pensions than Spanish retirees

      • Drinky

        03 November 2023 • 00:50

        The survey states quite clearly that it refers state pension only, also when calculating the average UK monthly Bill’s. It has not factored in rent or mortgage costs.

    • Maria Angeles García

      02 November 2023 • 16:55

      That’s rubbish!
      I’m a Spanish pensioner and I don’t get anything as much as that. And yes I am taxed on the pension.
      Do you mean the sum in Euros John?

      • numskullz

        03 November 2023 • 10:17

        This is complete rubbish as it doesn’t take into account means tested benefits such as pension credit and other benefits that it may trigger, which ensure a minimum overall income. So if you also have a private pension, then the state saves by only paying out the basic pension. There could even be an argument for abolishing the mandatory element of the pension altogether and make it entirely means tested like other benefits, as many people like the politicians mentioned by some above have other pension income way above their needs.

    • David white

      02 November 2023 • 17:34

      The UK pension is so poor because people in the UK don’t kick off and just accept that all of the main parties don’t care for the UK people. They only Care about their international profile. Giving foreign aid and gold plating their own pension. They should be totally ashamed. But, they just don’t care

      • Drinky

        03 November 2023 • 00:57

        Very true! If only the pensioner’s would realize that the governments of the day only care about their votes come the general elections, but they do care about their own pensions and free TV licences, plus many other perks not available to “Joe Bloggs.’

      • Val Duckworth

        03 November 2023 • 09:18

        Completely agree David the government rather put illegals in 4 Star hotel than look after their own that’s where they are spending billions every week . Look at the state of the NHS awe have all paid into but it benefits those that have never paid a penny

      • Trevor Ambler

        03 November 2023 • 13:27

        Yes totally agree David , the rich just get richer and the poor they keep poor

        • Bert

          07 November 2023 • 20:56


    • Philip

      02 November 2023 • 18:16

      Alex. The article is about state pensions and has nothing to do with private pensions.

    • James o donnell

      02 November 2023 • 19:57

      Looks like Spanish pensioners are bette off than Spanish workers then.. lucky to have more than 1100 euro per month

    • Michael

      02 November 2023 • 22:50

      Max state pension in Spain iis nearing 2900 euros.

    • Michael

      02 November 2023 • 22:55

      Actually over 3000 gross now, 240 per month more tha 2022. Take 500 off or so for tax.

    • Paul Harvey

      03 November 2023 • 00:28

      It’s talking about state pensions,not private pensions


      03 November 2023 • 00:29

      Yes all politians are in THE OLD NOYD CLUB and we subsidise it

    • Brian

      03 November 2023 • 01:17

      Hardly any tax relief for personal pensions in spain no isa either to my knowledge

    • Peter

      03 November 2023 • 06:07

      Finance expert says people over 66 should consider other financial avenues. About as much use as me telling everyone to win the lottery to suppliment their income. All those in high (well paid) government positions should have a reality check. The vast majority of ensioners have paid in a lifetime of taxes and national insurance to successive governments, only to be treated as a burden.

      • BRYAN

        03 November 2023 • 10:17

        Exactly Peter, and in a nutshell, this is precisely the reason nobody has the slightest respect for anything that so called ” financial experts ” have got to say…I’m 74, worked all my life, paid in all my life, never claimed any benefits, worked in the building industry with virtually no pension schemes…what pray, does this ” financial expert ” suggest for me…??…answers on a stamp…😈🤬

    • Christine Hendrickson

      03 November 2023 • 07:07

      Bums in charge of Britain! Lions led by dinkies

    • Ivan Baker

      03 November 2023 • 07:13

      John ensor, your closing comment of “solely relying on the state” is a tad offensive. I worked and contributed to the system for fifty years. This was at the levels set by government and my expectation was and is that I should receive a pension that enables me to live above the breadline. I’m mid seventies still working two part time jobs and paying tax on every pound I earn.

    • Paul Lunn

      03 November 2023 • 08:50

      David, you are so right. That’s exactly how it is. You only have to listen to the recent covid debacle to know how useless and selfish they all, and I mean all, are. Ironically, we ordinary people have the potential to have a much bigger say in how the country is run and I suspect, through apathy, never explore the potential. I’m not talking extremism, just decency, fairness and truth.

    • Paul Bergin

      03 November 2023 • 09:48

      UK Pensions are paid every four weeks not monthly.
      So the monthly figure would be just over £1,000 per month.

    • Tom

      03 November 2023 • 09:54

      It’s absolut rubish.
      For 20 years quoting in Spain as autónomo, I get 380.- € month

    • Vica

      03 November 2023 • 10:49

      State pension should be totally tax free as contributions were never free of tax relief unlike private pensions and company pensions, but now people are getting dragged into paying tax as their state pension can be above £12,570 pa especially if deferring, scandalous.

    • William allam

      03 November 2023 • 11:50

      I am just £3 over so can’t get pension credit and sum are just one pound over and believe me wee have problems it whod be nice to have that sort of money maybe the politicians whod be able to live on whot we have to

    • Geoffrey Buxton

      03 November 2023 • 13:17

      I’m 77 years old, and get a lower pension than people retiring today, although I worked longer, why do we have a two tier pension that has the older people worse off or are they just waiting for us to die

      • Peter Selston

        03 November 2023 • 15:18

        Definitely a major bone of contention Geoffrey. I am 2 years behind you and I worked from the age of 17 until I was 72 and my body said enough is enough. It is scandalous that we have a two tier pension system, why is our old pension not good enough for the new pensioners. We should be on a level playing field, either raise the old one or lower the new one, we are all the same pensioners.
        Give me a political party that guarantees a one pension system and they will have my vote.

    • Annette

      03 November 2023 • 14:22

      This is vastly exaggerated. Also note that, in order to receive the maximum amount in Spain, you have to have worked for a full 45 years!

    • Michael

      03 November 2023 • 14:37

      I live in spain, worked for 13 years also 37 years paid in UK, total pension recieved 1300 euro per month before tax.

    • beiderbeck

      03 November 2023 • 18:03

      Oh yes, The Express quoth he ! What a surprise. All the facts about UK state pensions are on the UK.Gov web site…but that would be dry, dull, factual, and not worth mentioning. The UK pension rules are complex, and to be trifled with in any national or local rag’s script without thoroughly checking. As a contributory pension, taxable, the UK pension is payable 4 weekly, not monthly. Mine is made up of basic pension, additional pension, graduated pension and earnings related pension. Contracted out deductions of £46 per week (yep, thats right) are within the calculation , ending up at £224 per week. Taxable in Spain, not UK, for TIE holders, it can be paid direct from DWP in euros, but if total Spanish taxable income for a resident UK state pensioner does not exceed 15000 euros per year, they, like Spanish pensioners may not be required to complete a tax return. Again, check it out ! The Spanish state pension is quite a different instrument just too complex to try quoting here, and like for like comparisons may not be worth attempting. The article could quite easily be rubbished, but forgiven due to The Express being embedded as an insensitive irritant.

    • Tony Jackson

      03 November 2023 • 19:22

      I have Belgian family and are very familiar with what they receive as state pension. Their pensions include a 13th month payment of full pension entitlement for holiday and a 14th month payment in December of each year for Christmas as the family view it. All the “Muppets” that believed the rhetoric and lies at the time of Brexit – just like most of the unwashed, just did not do any research concerning the referendum. I am in Spain at the moment and can confirm that providing a worker has achieved the pre qualifying period of length of work, the figures quoted may be viewed as accurate. It is always the same…the rich always skin the poor, due to their poor level of interest and education!

    • Peter

      07 November 2023 • 07:00

      I live in Spain 27 years now74years old no private pensions just over 1000 pounds state pension for 30 years contributions plus 110 euros state pension for 13 years working in Spain it seems the older you are the less you have . My rent is 500 euros per month my wife’s uk state pension is 350 pounds per month.were both under the tax thresh hold how can I check in Spain my entitlement. ?

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