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Article Italy: Early Retirement Benefits

(Aug. 15, 2017) On June 17, 2017, new legislation on early retirement, which is an option for certain qualifying employees participating in the Italian public pension system, entered into effect in Italy. (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers, No. 87 of May 23, 2017, on Regulations Implementing Article 1, Paragraphs 199 to 205, of Law No. 232 of December 11, 2016, on Reduction of the Contribution Requirement for Access to Early Retirement for Workers, “Earlies” (Decree No. 87), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) (June 16, 2017)  (in Italian).)

Purpose of the Legislation

The new legislation implements new rules on the contribution requirement for access to early retirement. (Decree No. 87, art. 1(1).)  Effective May 1, 2017, the law reduces the contribution period to 41 years for covered workers from the former 42 years and one month for men and 41 years and one month for women, as provided in Decree Law No. 201 of December 6, 2011, Urgent Provisions for the Growth, Equity and Consolidation of Public Accounts (G.U. 284 (Dec. 6, 2011), NORMATTIVA  (in Italian)). (Decree No. 87, art. 2(1).)


The new legislation benefits workers who have at least 12 months of contributions for actual work periods prior to reaching 19 years of age and those who fall into one of the several categories established in the new legislation:

(a) workers who are unemployed due to dismissal, resignation for just cause, or a consensual decision reached with the employer and who have ceased to receive full unemployment benefits for at least three months prior to the filing of the request for the new early retirement benefits;

(b) workers who at the time of making the request have provided assistance to family members under the conditions established therein;

(c) workers who have received a declaration of at least 74% incapacitation; and

(d) workers who at the time of making the request have for at least six years engaged in certain labor activities mentioned in the Annex to the new legislation. (Id. art. 3(1)(a)-(c).)

These benefits may not overlap with other social security benefits already acquired by work performed during the periods upon which both types of benefits are calculated. (Id. art. 8(1).)

Request for the Granting of the Benefit

The request for access to the benefit must have been filed at the local offices of the National Social Security Institute (INPS, in Italian) on or before July 15, 2017, for those workers who meet the criteria established in the new legislation within the year 2017. (Id. art. 4(1)-(2).) Workers who will meet the conditions later on must file their requests before March 1 of the relevant year. (Id. art. 4(2).)  Applicants must submit the pertinent documentation with their requests attesting to the specific grounds claimed for receiving the benefit. (Id. art. 5(1).)

The law sets a budget of €360 million (about US$423 million) for 2017, €550 million (about US$646 million) for 2018, €570 million (about US$670 million) for 2019, and €590 million (about US$693 million) for 2020 and for each year thereafter. (Id. art. 7(4).)

Decisions on the Pension Claims

The National Labor Inspectorate under the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies must conduct verification of whether applicants meet the requirements for receipt of the new pension benefits. (Id. art. 9(1).) The Inspectorate may access information from other governmental entities in order to ascertain compliance with the law’s conditions. (Id. art. 10(1).) The INPS communicates its decision to applicants on or before October 15, 2017, and on or before June 30 for applicants in subsequent years. (Id. art. 6(1).)

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