This chapter will provide information about the old-age pension (Vecuma pensija) in Latvia.
In what situation can I claim?
In 2019 you can claim an old-age pension if you have reached 63 years and 6 months of age and your social insurance record (employment period) is at least 15 years. The retirement age is the same for women and men.
Persons whose insurance record is not less than 30 years can claim a pension 2 years before the set retirement age (early-retirement option).
A pension can be claimed 5 years before the set retirement age by the following persons:
- a person whose insurance record is not less than 25 years and who for the period until the children reached 18 years of age spent at least 8 years caring for 5 or more children or a disabled child;
- politically repressed persons whose insurance record is not less than 30 years;
- participants in the clean-up of the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster whose insurance record is not less than 15 years.
An early old-age pension can also be claimed by women with lifetime disabilities, people suffering from growth retardation, people suffering from dwarfism, blind persons and persons who have worked in difficult and hazardous conditions.
There is no special social assistance scheme for the elderly. However, those who have a very low income and are not entitled to Old-age Pension (Vecuma pensija) but have resided permanently in Latvia for at least 5 years, of which the last 12 months have been uninterrupted residency, can receive the State social security benefit (Valsts sociālā nodrošinājuma pabalsts).
What conditions do I need to meet?
In Latvia the old-age pension (Vecuma pensija) is granted to persons who have reached the set retirement age and accrued the required social insurance contribution periods. In 2019, the retirement age for both men and women is 63 years and 6 months, and the minimum period for which social insurance contributions must be made is 15 years.
The retirement age is gradually increased by 3 months every year, reaching 65 years on 1 January 2025. Starting from 1 January 2025 the minimum insurance record necessary to receive an old-age pension will be 20 years.
Latvia has a three-tier pension system (trīs līmeņu pensiju sistēma):
- The first tier comprises mandatory social insurance contributions, and all payers are participants.
- The second tier consists of mandatory social insurance contributions which are invested by an intermediary (a bank) in the financial market. The profits thus earned remain as part of the accrued pension. The second tier is mandatory for all social insurance contributors born after 1 July 1971. Persons born between 2 July 1951 and 1 July 1971 can voluntarily join the second tier.
- The third tier comprises voluntary contributions made by the employer and employee into a private pension fund, which are then further invested in the financial market. The contributor can receive this pension at age 55, i.e. before reaching the legally mandated retirement age.
You can continue receiving the old-age pension if you move abroad.
Amount of the old-age pension
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The pension amount depends on the person's social insurance contribution period, the amount of social insurance contributions made and the person's age. The minimum pension is calculated taking into account the amount of state social security benefits:
up to 20 years
general cases EUR 70.43
disabled since childhood EUR 117.39
from 21 to 30 years
general cases EUR 83.24
disabled since childhood EUR 138.74
from 31 to 40 years
general cases EUR 96.05
disabled since childhood EUR 160.08
41 years and more
general cases EUR 108.85
disabled since childhood EUR 181.42
The old-age pension is paid monthly. Personal income tax is withheld from the old-age pension. The tax-free threshold is EUR 3,240 per year (EUR 270 per month).
If you have worked in another EU country, this insurance period may be taken into account in determining rights to old-age pensions in Latvia.Application for the old-age pension
You can apply for the old-age pension by filling out a form in person at any State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA) branch.
If you worked up to 31 December 1995, you must additionally submit documents proving your employment history.
In order to continue receiving the old age pension if you move to a foreign country, every year from 1 October to 15 December you must submit a request by post (to which a declaration from a notary public that the recipient is still alive must be attached) or in person to the SSIA.
The portal Latvija.lv has information in e-service format regarding your social insurance payments and the amount of benefits, pensions and support payments you can claim using internet banking or your e-signature.
The insurance contribution wage is the amount of income from which social insurance contributions have been paid.
Social insurance contributions are legally mandated payments paid into a special budget account which give the right to socially insured persons to receive social insurance benefits stipulated by law, including unemployment, maternity, paternity, illness and parental benefits, disability, old-age and loss of breadwinner pensions, and compensation for workplace accidents and work-related illnesses and healthcare services.
Forms you may need to fill in
- Form for claiming the old-age pension to be submitted in person to the SSIA, by post or e-mail (with e-signature)
- Form for recalculating the old-age pension to be submitted in person to the SSIA, by post or e-mail (with e-signature)
- Information on estimated old-age pension amounts
- Account statement for a second tier pension participant
- Information on social insurance contributions and insurance periods
- Information on the amount of the granted pension/benefit/support payments
Know your rights
See the links below for information on old-age pensions. These are not European Commission websites and do not reflect the views of the European Commission:
- Social security in the European Union - information on social insurance periods if you have worked/lived in another EU country, as well as pensions and benefits you can continue to claim if you move to another Member State.
- My pension: website about pension tiers (schemes) in Latvia.
Latvian laws and regulations on old-age pensions:
- Law on State Pensions
- Cabinet regulations: on insurance periods, on calculating old-age pensions and payout timeframes, on the European Union pension scheme, on state social insurance benefit amounts, and on old-age pension payments if you move abroad.
European Commission publication and website:
Who do you need to contact?
If you have any problems regarding your rights in the European Union, please contact the EU assistance service.