Latest news on pensionado CAJA fees?

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    I know this has been discussed previousl yet I know this issue seems to be constantly changing so looking for the most current information/reply to this subject:

    I believe (correct me if I’m wrong)that the minimum amount of provable monthly income for pensionado is $1,000 p/month.

    I will have 2 sources: 1) A company pension plan which is $760.00. 2) My social Security benefit will be $2,700.00.

    I have [b]No Plans[/b] to use the CAJA system except in the case of an unforeseen disaster/emergency.

    Will I be forced into paying CAJA fees based on my SS Benefit and what is the latest “formula” for determining what the actual cost will be. I thought I read awhile back (correct me if I’m wrong) that CAJA would cost about 10% of my declared “monthly income”.

    Are there any other solutions to ease that potential pain?

    THank You.


    Why did use both amounts for your residency or did? Social Security Administration will not, repeat will not, give you a statement for just a $1,000 but for your total payout. As to percentage assessed for the CAJA is it a flat percentage and mine was 8%. With the reforms in the law that went to effect in 2012, there are no longer any reductions from your total income for living expenses even though your local CAJA may still require the forms. If there are two of you on the Social Security, you may need an Apostille endorsed copy of your marriage certificate. Contact you the Secretary of State for the state you were married in for that document.


    [quote=”Cancertomnpdx”]Why did use both amounts for your residency or did? Social Security Administration will not, repeat will not, give you a statement for just a $1,000 but for your total payout.[/quote]

    I don’t understand what you mean by this. For the record, I have not yet retired to CR. I plan on doing so within the next year. Secondly, no spouse involved, just myself.

    You indicted you pay 8%. Am I to assume that I should expect to pay 8% of my projected SS Benefit of $2,700 since my private pension income falls below the $1,000 threshold?


    Please try these links and see if you can get a clearer picture for your situation:



    I used a ARCR for my application in November 2012. They did an excellent job. I picked them because having worked in law offices in my career, I like the fact they have their own bank of lawyers. Plus the price was right also for my budget and didn’t speak Spanish well enough to do it on my own. My assessment is about 8% now of my my total monthly USA Social Security payout. I think I started out about 7.25%. I think the law has a provision maximum that you would need to ask about before you applied. I hope this is helpful.


    This info was received by me, from ARCR in December;

    “CCSS/CAJA rates through a group plan that is once again being offered [i]if you are a member of ARCR” [/i]

    Permanent Resident over 55 yrs old is $77
    Permanent Resident under 55 yrs old is $137
    Pensionado over 55 yrs old is $89
    Pensionado under 55 yrs old is $162

    You can of course, apply directly through CAJA…and take a chance.:lol:


    Can anyone confirm that ARCR is once again offering the CAJA group rate that they had once done but had been discontinued several years ago? This makes a big difference in my possible plans. Not yet SS age but retired and have a good size pension I wasn’t willing to part with 8%-10% of for the process of residency and mandatory CAJA affiliation. The subjective nature ($$$) of the CAJA assessment at the END of the residency process was not worth the gamble. If they now have a fixed rate available for ARCR members it might make sense.


    Yes, the email I received was a confirmation to a discussion I had with an ARCR staff member.
    They would [u]not[/u] quote premiums for [i]Inversionistas[/i] or [i]Rentistas[/i] ‘at this time…’


    Thanks for the info. I had looked over at the ARCR site as well as scanning the forums for conformation with no luck. The only info I was able to find was your posting there which you copy and pasted here. My concern was the last line which you left out in the posting here.

    >>For those interested in becoming affiliated with CCSS/CAJA  through a group plan that is once again being offered by ARCR if you are a member of ARCR, here is some additional information and confirmation from the ‘ARCR team’ of these rates.

    Permanent Resident over 55 yrs old is $77
    Permanent Resident under 55 yrs old is $137
    Pensionado over 55 yrs old is $89
    Pensionado under 55 yrs old is $162

    These are the rates we can offer for now until we finish all the full details of the contract with CAJA”<< Seemed kind of odd that ARCR was offering rates without some type of final agreement with CAJA in place. Has ARCR now finalize their contract with CAJA? Has anyone taken advantage of this new group rate and actually affiliated with CAJA via ARCR at these new fixed group rates?


    Lack of quoted fees (on initial email) for both [i]Inversionista[/i] and [i]Rentista[/i] was ‘discussed’ in my second request for info from ARCR

    Those of us who have lived here for a while, [i]know[/i] that the premiums for both of those statuses are high…and we also [i]know[/i] that can vary from one CAJA office to another, depending on the ‘cost’ of an investment, a house or if you live in a particular area.

    Phone or email ARCR and ask these questions.

    I am not a member of ARCR but was shown an email from ARCR and read one post on the forum that was send out to existing members notifying them that this new group plan would soon recommence.

    If you read #4 on the ARCR forum page it reads:

    “ARCR is accepting new members in the group policy. We have been part of the group for several years. They can quote the price, because it’s the same for everyone in a given age and residency category.

    I know a couple who pay locally and their payment is about the same.

    At $89 per month, you can’t find a deal that’s too much better. You may save a couple bucks” written by another member” who [u]did[/u] receive an mail from ARCR


    Thanks again for the additional information. I was looking to see if anyone had first hand experience with joining CAJA via ARCR with the “new” group rates that had been quoted here and on the ARCR forums. I will attempt to contact ARCR to confirm this new offering of a group rate pricing plan on CAJA for members.

    As you pointed out the information, price, rules, and other tidbits dealing with ANYTHING here in CR can be rather fluid and subjective for expats. If I was offered a fixed rate (knowing what you’re getting into) price residency makes sense. Unfortunately pinning down solid information can be difficult at times, and impossible at others.


    Note that the fixed rate will [i]only[/i] be for approx.4 years…then [u]if[/u] you apply for Permanent residency your premium will be less.

    Plus, of course, the annual fee to ARCR.


    My husband and I applied for residency through ARCR. We were told we should be approved as of last November, and don’t you know, November rolled around, and we were approved. We were also told we could enroll in Caja through ARCR, and our price would be $89. We are pensionados. But on the advice of several forum members, we went to the Caja ourselves to see what price they would give us. We enrolled directly with the Caja because it is costing us roughly $70 instead of $89. It is worth doing this. If the Caja quotes you a higher price, you don’t have to sign up with them.

    I have read that some people were allowed to itemize expenses. We weren’t asked about our expenses. We also weren’t asked for our marriage certificate.

    It took about 1 1/2 hours to complete the process. We couldn’t get our ID cards that day because we went when Otto struck, and that particular office was closed. We returned a week later. It took about 15 minutes, and we were told to return in 3 months to get our permanent cards.

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