I am an expat. Do I have to deal with the Chilean Social Security System?
The possibility of a career in a country full of wine and cornered by the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range certainly sounds appealing.
Schools are decent, private healthcare is among the best in the region, and there are no hurricanes or deadly animals to be worried about.
So with all that, why is my move there still keeping me awake at night? It is likely because I will have to deal with new taxes and social security in a country that is not even mine. So what should I know about it?
There are three basic social security deductions that will hurt my new Chilean paycheck:
- 7% of it will go towards my health insurance;
- 10% will go towards my Chilean pension; and
- 0.6% will towards my Chilean unemployment insurance.
While the above sounds scary, the deductions are based on income capped at roughly USD 3,000 for health insurance and pension contribution, whereas for unemployment insurance it will based on income capped around USD 4,500. In other words, if make USD 10,000 a month my mandatory contributions will still be USD 210 for health insurance, USD 300 for my pension and USD 27 for unemployment.
Having said this and despite the charms of this southern nation, it is likely I would rather keep my own health and pension system in my home country. How do I get out of making these contributions in Chile then?
- I must be a foreigner doing professional or technical work in Chile. Easy.
- I must be affiliated to a mandatory foreign social security system that includes coverage for health, disability, pension and life insurance.
- I need to make sure to establish in my work contract that I want to maintain my non-Chilean health and social security system abroad.
- My wonderful employer needs to communicate this to the corresponding pension fund manager in Chile. At this point in time that manager is AFP Uno but it may change in the future.
Can I also opt out of unemployment insurance? Unfortunately, no.
So the good news is that there is a way to opt out. But, what happens if I didn’t know about this during my time in Chile? Can I recover my pension contribution paid to the pension fund manager? Yes!
- I need to submit a refund request to the manager I was paying into;
- I need to demonstrate that I am foreign professional or technical worker by certifying my professional or technical degree. Time to dust off the diploma!
- I need to demonstrate that I am part of a foreign social security system covering health, disability, old age and death; and
- My former Chilean work contract must be explicit about my intention to keep my foreign social security and health insurance system.
Easy. Right? If not, then we would be happy to have a chat with you and go through the process based on your specific situation.
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