Pensionado Discount in Panama

pensionado discount
by vdallari » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:25 am

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Pensionado Jubliado Discounts
Posted by Lee on September 6, 2010
boquete newsletter

Back in the days of the Military dictatorship, Panama created the pensionado discount. I have heard two stories about why. The first was to push some of the increasing cost of supporting retired people onto the public sector by reducing their cost of living at the expense of businesses. The other was to encourage Canal workers to remain in Panama by sweetening their pensions, a precursor to what is now called residential tourism. Either or neither might be the truth and I welcome any comments to better explain the origin.

If I was in the hotel or restaurant business, I would despise this law. It forces business to raise prices to everyone in order to subsidize jubilados. It seems even more onerous to businesses when many of the new retirees here receive pensions many times the average wage of a Panamanian.

Still this is the law and whether you are a citizen or a permanent resident, these are discount you can request. The law has teeth and a government agency to handle complaints.

The following discounts are for retired or pensioner, males older than 62 and females older than 57 years, in accordance with what the LAW No. 6 of June 16th of 1987 dictates:

1.50% discount of the prices charged in recreational and entertainment activities such as movies, theaters, sport and other public shows. This discount is not applicable to charitable activities where the earnings are to benefit children, injured and other programs duly authorized for the competent authority.
2.Discount in public transportation according to the following classification: City buses, 30%; b. Trains, 30%; c. Boats and Ships, 30%; and d. A 25% in air transportation of public companies or local and foreign private companies.
3.A minimum discount in the regular hotel, motel and pension rates as follows: 50% from Monday to Thursday, b. 30% Friday, Saturday and Sundays.
4.Discount of 25 % on personal food intake in any restaurant, with the exception of those considered “fondas”, [inn, cheap restaurant] that do not require an operation permit to operate.
5.A discount of 15% in fast food restaurant with national and international franchises.
6.A discount of 15% in the total bill for services in hospitals and private clinics.
7.Pharmacy discount of 10% in medicines purchased with medical prescription.
8.Discount in the following medical services such as: a. 20 % in doctor fees for family medicine and medical and surgical specialist; b. 15 % for dentist services; and c. 15% for optometry services.
9.Exoneration of the valorization rate of your property as long as this is your only property and that you live there. From the property transfer, this can be subject to works valorization tax for Works executed during or after such transfer.
10.A 50% discount on Passport value.
11.A 25% discount in the monthly electricity bill, from a public or private entity up to six hundred kilowatts hours [600 kWh]. Normal rate will be applied to any amount in excess of 600 kHz.
12.All properties of associations, federations and Retired and pensioner´s confederations that have been organized in accordance with the law, will enjoy the discounts granted to retired and pensioners such as: electricity, water, telephone, postal box, valorization fee, real estate tax and any other benefit granted to non-for- profit organizations according to what Panamanian law dictates.
13.Discount of 25% on the fixed basic charge of the telephone line as long as: a. the telephone contract is in his/her name, b. the contract is for residential telephone line, c. the charge is to only one telephone. The normal rate will be applied to any amount in excess of this.
14.Discount of 25% on the water consumption from a public or private entity, as long as: a. The water consumption does not exceed thirty balboas [B/.30.00], b. The contract is in his/her name, c. The contract is for residential use and for his/her residence. The normal rate will be applied to any amount in excess of this.
These discounts are lawfully valid and if they are not made you can file a complaint to the Autoridad de Protección al Consumidor y Defensa de la Competencia with fines that goes from fifty balboas [B/.50.00] to five thousand balboas [B/.5,000.00].

I would like to thank Julio Espinosa, Attorney in Boquete for the information and translation


The comment below by Susan Guberman-Garcia is correct the ages are 60 and 55, and the discount on medicines is 15%.

This is a link to the law as last amended in Spanish it is a PDF file and will download to your computer.

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