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British Pensioner Denied Retirement Dream in San Marino Due to Nationality



A 70-year-old British pensioner from Manchester, Jason Andersen, faced a devastating blow to his retirement plans after discovering he was ineligible for San Marino’s tax-friendly scheme. San Marino, a small independent enclave in Italy between Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, is renowned for its low tax rates and has become a magnet for wealthy individuals seeking fiscal advantages.

Andersen, a former broker and tech consultant, had set his sights on buying property in the Republic of San Marino to leverage its advantageous tax system. However, his dreams were shattered when he realized that UK citizens were not included in the list of eligible applicants for the scheme.

San Marino’s tax initiative offers a flat 6 per cent taxation rate for a decade on foreign pension income, requiring expats to establish residency and invest in real estate within the microstate. Applicants must demonstrate an annual income of at least €50,000 gross or possess a total wealth exceeding €300,000, making them ideal candidates for the program.

While the law, enacted in December 2020, welcomes pensioners from EU countries, Switzerland, and select nations with special agreements, there is a notable absence of provisions for UK residents. Speculation arises as to whether this exclusion is linked to the aftermath of Brexit.

Expressing his frustration, Andersen shared his disappointment at the unforeseen hurdle, lamenting the missed opportunity to retire in the tax-efficient environs of San Marino. He had diligently prepared for relocation, aligning his financial affairs and real estate holdings towards this goal.

Despite his setback, Andersen remains determined to pursue an alternative Mediterranean destination, with Greece emerging as a favored choice alongside San Marino. The allure of proximity to Italy’s renowned landscapes, seaside resorts in Rimini and Riccione, and the Apennine hills for recreational activities continues to captivate him.

Reflecting on the situation, Andersen emphasizes the contradictory stance of San Marino, known for its eagerness to attract affluent retirees, while imposing restrictions based on nationality. He hopes for a possible reconsideration of the policy, advocating for a more inclusive approach to uphold the original intent of enticing wealthy expats.

Rachel Adams

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