A worker carrying out his activities outside Brazil, with exclusive employment relationship with foreign company, is no longer considered as 'insured employee' before the Brazilian Social Security.
This workers can not be considered an independent contractor (individual taxpayer) to make gatherings in their own name and keep insured by the Brazilian Social Security Department.
How to act, what alternative does the worker have to continue to contribute to the Brazilian Social Security and keep counting the years of service for retirement purposes?
Under the legislation in force, workers who have their Brazilian employment contract terminated may continue in the Brazilian social security system. Indeed, in order to allow "housewives" and unemployed workers to contribute to the Social Security with a view to a future retirement, Law no. 8.212/91 (art. 14) established the category of "optional insured" (segurado facultativo, in Portuguese), and defined this insured as every person over 16 years of age who wishes to join the social security system and is not included in the definition of other categories of insured (such as insured employees, independent contractors, businesspersons, corporations' officers, etc.).
Concerning the case of workers conducting their activities abroad and having no further employment relationship in Brazil, they may be considered equivalent to unemployed workers in Brazil, and are allowed to maintain their participation in the Social Security system in the capacity of optional insured.
In order to maintain their participation in the Social Security system, these optional insured are required to pay monthly contributions on their own name and under their own responsibility. The amount payable as contribution has to be calculated at the rate of 20% on the contribution salary bracket into which the worker wishes to be classified (the higher the contribution, the higher the future retirement amount will be).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.