Frequently Asked Questions – Retrieval process under law 18.156 (professional foreign workers)

By reaching the end of year 2023, we want to keep record and share valuable insights to frequently asked questions of former clients that decided to go the path of our guided consultant work to retrieve their pension funds in Chile. Since our operational start in 2019, we keep our record at a 100% success rate and happily announce a total of approximate 130 millions Chilean pesos (150,000 USD) of accessed AFP funds in Chile.

Our most valuable insights are:

  • Do you need a valid Chilean RUT-Card(“Carnet”)? No, as a foreigner you have to proof your nationality by a valid passport copy/scan. In any case, you have to present a copy/scan of your expired Chilean RUT-card (“Carnet”) and the type of visa that you were working in Chile. In addition, we also recommend to include the border exit stamp in your passport for full transparency.
  • What happens if I lost my old working contract(s) or did not keep a scanned copy of my working contract(s)? The law 18.156 is very clear for professionally hired employees, so it is inevitable to present all of your working document(s) that paid into your AFP fund in Chile. We are helping our clients to get in contact with former employers and happy to lead the communication on recovering the essential documents for the application process.
  • I do not have a Chilean bank account anymore, can I have the funds deposited into a friends account in Chile or does the AFP an international payout into my foreign bank account? The only possibility of direct deposit of your AFP funds is a bank account in your name in Chile (Cuenta RUT is only possible, if the retrieved AFP amount does not exceed the maximum balance established by Banco Estado). As of today, not a single AFP company deposits into a foreign bank account nor allows a deposit into another name´s bank account (even if it is a family member). You can designate a representative by a notarized and legalized/apostilled Power of Attorney, that needs to be shipped physically to Chile to have it presented at the bank at the moment of payout.
  • I made contributions an independent worker (on variable invoices), can I also apply for the payout under law 18.156? Unfortunately, the law is dated back to 1982 and the independent contributions set in place a few years ago. At current state there is no possibility to retrieve your pension funds before retirement age if you contributed independently. 
  • What is the biggest drawback for the early retrieval of pensions funds for foreign employees in Chile? Besides the bureaucratic type of procedure, we recommend to evaluate the involved income tax effect for the full retrieval under law 18.156. For a better understanding of the involved impact, please review the published tax rates on the Chilean tax office (SII) page or consult with us directly. 
  • Do I have to ship my original documents to Chile? We do not recommend to ship any original document to Chile (due to shipping expenses and bureaucracy). Thanks to pandemic, some of the AFP companies implemented already an online application system also for the payout process under law 18.156. We can give you a shortlist of those companies and you can initiate the online transfer to another AFP company at any time (it takes up to 30 working days to have your AFP funds available at the new selected company).
  • How to start the whole retrieval process? We have a detailed checklist available for any potential client (we send it over for FREE). As soon as we had a quick informative check-up over the phone or Zoom, we can evaluate the feasibility of your case and decide, if we can take it over. In case you miss a document or do need help to retrieve a missing certificate, we share free templates and define a personalized process for successful funds retrieval. Sometimes we have to be honest in the first step and if we do not see any success possibility, we also deny some cases. Please feel free to contact us with your personal story.