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RETIRED AND PENSIONED

The city of Panama has become in recent years as the preferred place for those foreigners seeking for a place for a second home either for rest or to live. The low costs of life, fiscal advantages, the use of the American dollar as the official currency, the international financial center, the modern shopping centers and the good communications and health systems are some of the reasons why many retired and pensioned persons have chosen to live and invest in our country.

The foreigner who wishes to live in Panama as retired or pensioned shall receive a retirement or pension by the foreign government, international organism or private company that shall be proven by a letter of a foreign pension management company, trust, mutual funds, insurances or bank that certifies that the funds to guarantee a life pension exist and should not be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).

The Panamanians or foreigners living in the national territory that have fifty seven (57) years old or more, if they are women; or sixty two (62) years old or more, if they are men; and all are retired and pensioned by any gender, will enjoy of the following benefits:

1. Discount of 50% of the prices charged for the admission to recreational activities and of entertainment, such as cinemas, theaters, sports and other public shows. This discount is not applicable to the charity activities, which profit are for the childhood, victims and programs properly authorized by a competent authority.


2. Discount in the public transportation fee in accordance with the following classification:

a. Intercity buses, 30%

b. Trains, 30%

c. Boats and vessels, 30%; and

d. A 25% in air tickets of national and foreign companies, public or private.

3. A minimum discount in the regular prices of hotels, motels and guest house as follows:

a. 50% from Monday to Thursday.

b. 30% on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.


4. 25% discount of the individual consumption value of food in any restaurant, except for those considered as inn restaurants, which do not require of a commercial license to operate.


5. A 15% discount at the fast food restaurants as international or local franchises.


6. 15% discount of the total account for hospitals and private clinics services.

7. A 10% discount in pharmacies from the value the medicines purchase through prescription.


8. Discount in the following medical services:

a. 20% in the general medicine appointments and in medical specialties and surgical fees;
b. 15% on dental services; and c. 15% on optometry services.

9. The insurance agencies that include within their policies the risk by disease, shall make the necessary adjustments so that the benefit of these discounts is transferred to the insured in the payment of his premiums, at the age of fifty seven (57) years old or more, if female; and at the age of sixty two (62) years old or more, if male; and to the retired and pensioners.

10. Discount of 20% of the fees for technical and professional services.


11. Discount of 20% of the price on all prosthesis as well as of all the equipment and aid accessories.

12. Discount of 50% of the costs or closing commission in the commercial personal loans transactions carried out on your behalf in banks, finance companies and credit institutions. No public or private organization will be able to collect any sum for discount services, neither to the borrowers benefitted with the present Law, nor the banks, finance companies, cooperatives and credit institutions in the personal and commercial loans transactions carry out on your name.

13. The transactions of personal and commercial loans carry out on your name in banks, finance companies, cooperatives and credit institutions, shall be free of the over-rate payment or stipulated burden of the Special Fund of Interest Compensation (FECI).

14. Discount of 15% in the maximum interest rate that the law allows to banks, finance companies, cooperatives and credit institutions to collect in personal and commercial loans on your name.

15. Discount of 1% in the interest rate in mortgage loans for personal use, at the moment in which the person turns fifty seven (57) years old, if female; or sixty two (62) years old, if male; or if you are retired or pensioners. Exempt from this provision are the mortgage loans with preferential rates decreed by law.

16. The freezing of the property tax, as long as the housing is on your name and is your only property. This tax shall be reduced in case the value of the real estate is decreased, in accordance with the law.

17. Exoneration of the valuation rate payment of your property, as long as it is unique and constitutes your housing. From the transfer of the property, it could be subject to the valuation rate for works that are made during or after the transfer.


18. Discount of 50% on the cost of passports.

19. Discount of 25% in the invoicing of the monthly electric power consumption, from a public or private organization, up to six hundred kilowatts per hour (600kWh). The normal rate shall be applied to the surplus of this amount.

20. The properties of the Associations, Federations, Confederations of Retired and Pensioners constituted in accordance with the Law, shall enjoyed of the discounts granted to retired and pensioner that is to say: electric power, water, telephone, P.O. box, valuation rate, property tax and any other benefit granted to nonprofit associations, as required under the laws of the Republic.

21. Discount of 25% of the fixed charge for telephone service when:

a. The telephone service bill is on your name.
b. The bill is residential. c. The charge is to one telephone. The normal fee shall be applied to the surplus of this amount.

22. Discount of 25% on the water consumption bill, from a public or private organization, as long as:

a. The consumption is not greater than thirty balboas (B/.30.00)
b. The bill is on your name.
c. The bill is residential and constitutes your housing. The normal fee shall be applied to the surplus of this amount.


The beneficiaries of this Law shall prove the right to their benefits this way:

  1. With your personal identification card, if your age is fifty seven (57) years old or more, if female; and sixty two (62) years old if male; or
  2. With the retired or pensioner card.


The discounts and concessions referred on this law shall be deductible of the income tax. The benefits of this law are nontransferable.

RETIRED INDEPENDENT

The alien that wishes to live in Panama as retired independent shall prove that he receives a monthly income of eight hundred fifty balboas (B/.850.00), that exclusively comes from interests earned on a time deposit placed at the National Bank of Panama or Caja de Ahorros, and such interests earned are free from encumbrances or guarantee of any nature, for a fixed period of five (5) years. Extended for five (5) years, which can extend for the same term. You will obtain a Panamanian passport for such periods.

The temporary permit as Retired Independent does not authorize the interested party or his dependents to look out for the Panamanian nationality by naturalization; that is to say, the invested time is not considered valid to opt for the Panamanian nationality by naturalization.

TO OBTAIN PANAMANIAN PASSPORT

The special Panamanian passport granted as benefit to the applicants of this temporary permit of five (5) years renewable for the same term, allows the bearer to use it for traveling to any country of the world, including the countries of Europe and the United States, among others. There are some countries where the Panamanians and therefore, the bearers of the special Panamanian passport granted as benefit because of their condition as Retired Independent, need visa, for which the passport issue has a minimum of forty (40) pages for the use of the respective visas stamps. In the event that the Bearer of the passport needs to travel to any country that demands visa to the holders of a Panamanian passport, would only have to make the request before the Consulate or Embassy of the country to which he has planned to travel and present the passport.


Here are some countries for which the bearers of Panamanian passports do not need visa, to know: Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, among others. On the contrary, you need visa for countries as Mexico and the United States, among others.

The holders of this type of special passports do not incur in economic obligations with the Government just because they have the passport, nevertheless, are authorized to invest money in the country and, in this case, shall comply with the provisions that in this matter governs the National Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Panama.

Finally, the aliens who obtain any of the permanent permits as pensioner and retired resident or as temporary resident permit as retired independent, shall
have the right to benefits as:

- Total duty free for the import of articles for domestic and/or personal use, for one time, up to the amount of ten thousand dollars (US$10,000.00).

- Total duty free every two years, for the import or purchase of an automotive vehicle for personal or familiar use.

The persons to whom visas for pensioned tourists or retired independent have been granted shall be able to invest money in the national territory, as long as they fulfill the established with the Panamanian legislation. However, they could not be able to work in the local territory, except for the following cases:

- When they render specialized services, not offered by Panamanians, in the National Government or its decentralized entities.

- When they have invested in a private company representative amounts in capital of the same, previously authorized by the Ministry of Labor.

- When they are members of the Board of Directors of the Companies in which they have invested.

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