British expats struggle to claim pensions through Spain’s social security office

A British expat is pleading for help after waiting nearly six years to get his Spanish pension.

The Marbella-based 70-year-old faces bankruptcy and potential homelessness in the new year if the authorities don’t step in and help.

It comes after Jerry Wayne was turned down by Spain’s Social Security department despite paying tax for 35 years here.

Describing it as a ‘nightmare’, he told the Olive Press: “I have worked here for well over three decades and paid my taxes, I’ve done everything in line with the law yet here I am being forced to deal with this awful ongoing saga.”

He added: “I’ve only got enough money to see me through to February and I’ve already had to move to a much smaller flat in a cheaper area to save money.

“I really fear for the future.”

The former hotel and restaurant manager continued: “I’ve probably paid over half a million euros to the state while working here and this is how they treat me.”

Pension Plunder
Wayne has been waiting six years for his pension. Photo: generic

Wayne, whose name we have changed for legal reasons, originally moved from London to Marbella in 1986, as a hospitality consultant.

Having studied hotel management and launched his own consultancy business in the UK, he was quickly in demand.

As well as working with the five-star Guadalpin hotel, he was a consultant at the leading La Sala group and ran his own restaurants, including La Campana.

“I have been involved in hotels, restaurants, golf clubs and generally the finer things of life that this wonderful country has to offer,” explained Wayne.

His problems began though as he approached his 65th birthday in 2017 when he got a gestor to help him apply for his pension.

But due to a technicality, in which he allegedly owed a few thousand euros in unpaid autonomo (self employed) payments, his claim was denied.

Despite then getting a lawyer involved, as well as having countless calls and meetings with uncaring civil servants, he is still no closer to solving the problem five years on.

“I’m desperate and really hope a campaigning paper like yours can somehow help to get what’s rightfully mine,” he pleaded.

Pension Fraud Claims Dead Aunt
Wayne says he has paid half a million in taxes in Spain.

While reaching out to the authorities we have found other expat pensioners in a similar position and plan to launch a campaign in the new year.

The British consulate explained this week that expats struggling to claim their Spanish pension needed to ‘deal directly’ with the social security office. 

However, organisation Brexats of Spain pledged to help as best it could.

Its founder Anne Fernandez, added: “It sounds like a horror story, we will put this out to our members to see if anyone else can help or has similar problems.”

Spain’s Ministry of Social Security dodged questions about the two pensioners who spoke with the Olive Press and simply referred them back to their respective social security office. The Olive Press will continue to probe for answers.

anthony@theolivepress.es

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