Malta Retirement Programme

Moving abroad for your retirement is always something that may come in mind. A new place for a new life. In fact, many people who retire to a different country usually seek something that was not to be found where they previously lived: climate, lifestyle, environment, and even just the aesthetic. Many northern Europeans seek the warmer climes of the Mediterranean; many city dwellers seek nature and a slower, cleaner lifestyle of the countryside. In this respect Malta offers both of these worlds, and is one of the best contestants in the world for retirement. If you are eligible, you may even be able to take advantage of the retirement scheme in Malta outlined below where Tax is applicable at a rate of only 15%.

Malta compared to other Retirement Destinations

Abundant in sun, sea, history and beautiful architecture, plus delicious food, Malta is a place not to be overlooked or underestimated. With an average of 265 days of sun ever year, retirees can be assured they will have plenty of time for outdoor activities, be it swimming, exploring the cranny and nooks of quaint towns or planning a trip to Gozo.

In comparison with most of Europe, the Maltese summer is long, and one can start enjoying the sea from as early as May, for the more courageous even April—one must never forget the local adage, ‘only swim if the Maltese are’. In recent years, even winters are steadily becoming warm and sunny, making for perfect hiking and picnic weather.

Culture and History of Malta

Malta also has a lot of proud history, starting with sabre-tooth tigers to ancient temples to Romans to Arabs to Knights to British, and a wealth of multitude in between. It is easy to get lost in the intricacy of history and fiction, but there is much to see either way. Even if you were to visit one church a day it would take you a year--there are 365 churches! Culture is very rich too. People are spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural events, entertainment, fine dining or just having a coffee. Valletta boasts centuries-old theatres, halls, palaces, art centres, bars and even streets where all sorts of things happen from music to art to theatre to cinema. Prestigious festivals are also taking root.

Seasonal changes in entertainment are to be noted too. In summer most events have a tendency to happen in the outdoors and later than usual. A lot of water sports happen in most beaches, like kayaking and canoeing. Yachting is very common in Malta, with many localities offering extensive berthing for boats, yachts and super yachts, with owners going for trips around the island throughout the year or enjoying a weekend anchored in some cut-off bay along the coast.

Many have already found a haven on the island—Malta has one of the hugest expatriate communities in Europe, comprising of students, professionals, and retirees too. Many find Malta to be very affordable and easy to live in, and being small, getting to places is easy and fast, even with public transport. There isn’t much difference if you’re a multi-millionaire or not—it won’t make a difference to your experience of the islands’ lifestyle.

Easily Accessible to all of Europe

Malta itself is close to Europe too, a maximum of three hours from mainland Europe, making it easy to visit relatives or vice versa. It also opens up a lot of travelling opportunities, to places in North Africa, like Tunis and Morocco, and to Sicily, where a lot of Maltese enjoy to go for weekends or for one-day driving, shopping and sightseeing trips.

Applicable Tax

Malta is considered by many foreigners as a kind of tax haven too. In order to benefit from the Retirement Scheme in Malta applicants must declare a minimum of 75% of their pension and a minimum of 25% of their normal income. Additionally, all applicants may not be benefiting from one of the below Malta Schemes unless they renounce such schemes:

  • Residents Scheme Regulations;
  • High Net Worth Individuals Rules; or
  • Highly Qualified Persons Rules.

In Malta, there’s no inheritance tax, no gift tax and no wealth tax, only stamp duty paid when one transfers Maltese real estate (5%) to their name and on transfers of certain shares in Maltese companies (2%). Otherwise, should you be approved, your final tax rate will be that of 15%.

Maltese Health System

Another very important fact for all expatriates is that the Maltese health system is exceptional. If you have applied for the retirement scheme in Malta, your mandatory insurance will cover public state of the art hospital Mater Dei, local clinics as well as our excellent private hospitals. Malta has recently experienced a surge in medical tourism due to the fact that it is far cheaper than main land Europe.

The Retirement Scheme in detail

The retirement segment has always been a main contributor to the Maltese real estate market – and was, in fact, taken into consideration during a recent launch by the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Investment where the Maltese Government announced a newly designed Permanent Residence Scheme for retirees. For those who are currently in their retirement age and garner their main income from such retirement schemes and retirement plans – they are sure to be satisfied.

The scheme has adopted a minimum tax liability of €7,500, plus a further €500 per dependent:

  • Applicants will be asked to prove that they are either on the EU transposition of rights, or that they have medical insurance.
  • Retirees must live in Malta for an average of 90 days per year over a five year period, however, they are unable to live in any other single jurisdiction for more than 183 days within any year.
  • The Malta Retirement Programme is applicable only to those who either own/lease a Real Estate in Malta or Gozo. Should the property be leased, the rental period – as stated in the rental agreement – should be for a minimum of twelve months and evidenced by a certified rental agreement, which is to submitted along with the application.

The minimum amounts for purchasing or leasing a property in Malta or Gozo are as follows:

  • Purchase of Property in Malta - €275,000
  • Purchase of Property in Gozo/ South of Malta - €250,000
  • Lease of Property in Malta - €9,600 annually
  • Lease of Property in Gozo/ South of Malta - - €8,750 annually

The following documentations and information will need to be submitted during the application process:

  • 4 passport sized photographs (colour) for each applicant;Birth or Marriage Certificate;Copies of Passports (page of personal details);
  • A Police Conduct Certificate (in English);
  • A declaration on Oath or a Solemn Declaration stating that the individual does not have any ongoing criminal or civil proceedings;
  • Original Statement/s from the pension provider stating the full pension details;
  • Health Cover – this may be either by the transposition of EU Health rights via the S1(E121) or by having private medical healthcare; and
  • A non-refundable administrative fee of €2,500.

As we are not tax consultants nor an Authorised Registered Mandatory that is approved to apply on your behalf for the Malta Retirement programme, it is recommended to seek further information from these such qualified sources.

RE/MAX Malta may provide you with a list of such Authorised Registered Mandatory firms for you to research and understand which firm best suits you and your family.

Related Links:

Global Residence Programme (GRP)
Malta Residence Rules Regulations (2014)