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Pensions and social security

PATRONAGES

The Patronati are at the service of workers and citizens to provide effective advice and guidance, preparation and forwarding of all pension and pension practices, carrying out all the required obligations and protecting the citizen against Inps, Inpdap, Inail, public administrations and local authorities, to achieve its rights.

Some of the services provided by the patronates free of charge are listed below:

Verification of the insurance position, work abroad redemption and university degrees;

Applications for pensions;

Social increase and replenishment of pensions;

Allowances to the household;

Request and accreditation of the registration sheet for military service, war or imprisonment.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY

“Social security” means a set of measures aimed at providing goods and services to citizens in need, ranging from free treatment to the most deprived, the provision and integration of bodies and institutions to ensure that citizens who are incapable of work and who lack the social means to live by maintenance and social assistance, and, to workers, adequate means to meet the needs of life in the event of an accident, illness or disability, old age and involuntary unemployment.

Social security shall comprise:

social assistance which fulfils a generic function of protecting the most deprived, protection extended to all citizens in every occasion of need, within the limits of the availability of the paying agency; social security which fulfils the specific function of protecting workers;

The persons entitled to protection are:

employed and self-employed persons; civil servants; students; pensioners; members of the families and survivors of the above mentioned persons.

The main benefits for employed and self-employed persons are as follows:

OLD AGE PENSION: Following the entry into force of Law 335/95, the right to claim the old-age pension is conditional on the worker having at least 20 years of contributions, 65 years of age for men and 60 years of age for women.

RETIREMENT PENSION: the retirement pension is governed by Law 335/95; according to that law, the employee’s entitlement to a retirement pension is based on the attainment of a seniority of 35 years or more, in competition with at least 57 years of age or to the achievement of a contributory seniority not less than 40 years.

ORDINARY INVALIDITY ALLOWANCE: The ordinary invalidity allowance is payable to a worker whose ability to work, in occupations appropriate to his habits, is permanently reduced due to infirmity or physical or mental defect to less than one third. To be entitled to the allowance, the worker must have 5 years of insurance and contribution: of the latter at least 3 years must have been paid within 5 years prior to the application for insurance. The allowance is recognised for a period of three years and can be confirmed after review by the INPS at the request of the person concerned for periods of the same duration. After 3 successive awards, the allowance is definitively confirmed. The ordinary disability allowance is not reversible to survivors.

ORDINARY INVALIDITY PENSION: The ordinary invalidity pension is payable to the insured person who, as a result of sickness or physical or mental disability, is unable to carry out any occupation. In order to be entitled to a pension, the insured person must be able to claim 5 years of insurance and 5 years of contribution, of the latter at least 3 years must have been paid during the 5 years preceding the claim for insurance. The pension consists of the amount of the invalidity allowance and an increase calculated on the basis of the contributions that the worker would have accrued if he had been able to continue working until he reached retirement age.

SURVIVOR’S PENSION: the survivor’s pension is payable to the members of the family of the deceased worker and is designated as a survivor’s pension if the deceased worker was a direct and indirect pensioner, if the deceased worker was not a direct pensioner, but at the time of death, he had the insurance and contribution requirements required to obtain the ordinary invalidity allowance or invalidity pension.

The members of the family entitled to a pension are:

the spouse and children who on the date of death of the worker are minors, students or disabled; the parents who on the date of death of the worker have reached the age of 65, are not pensioners and are dependent on the deceased; in the absence of such beneficiaries, unmarried brothers and sisters who, at the date of the death of the worker, are incapacitated, are not recipients of a direct or indirect pension and are dependent on the deceased.

SOCIAL PENSION: the social pension is granted to citizens aged over 65 (Italians or a Member State of the European Community) habitually resident in the national territory without any form of insurance protection and whose incomes, including those of their spouse, are lower than those established by law.

INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY

“International social security” means the social protection of citizens of one country who are habitually resident in another country. The protection of migrants must be guaranteed by means of up-to-date international regulations which must constantly take account of social changes.
In the community area (U.E.), social protection is achieved through the application of Community Regulations. Community social security legislation is immediately and directly applicable in the territory of the 25 countries that are currently part of the European Union.
The same rules also apply to the 3 countries that, although not members of the European Union, have joined the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein.
Since 1 June 2002, this legislation has also been applied to the Swiss Confederation through an agreement with the European Community and its 25 member states.

In the non-EU area, social protection is normally implemented through bilateral conventions.

COMMUNITY REGULATIONS

Community Regulations No 1408/71 and 574/72, expanded and updated on several occasions, completely govern social security relations between the countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
The Community Regulations lay down general rules on invalidity, old age and death insurance (pensions), insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases, against involuntary unemployment, for assistance in sickness and maternity, for family benefits.
Moreover, the Community Regulations do not replace the laws of the Member States, but regulate their application in such a way that workers who have carried out their activity abroad do not suffer damage compared to those who have worked only in the Homeland.

The Community Regulations have been established to achieve the following objectives:

20901. Aggregation of all periods of insurance and contributions completed in the Member States for the purposes of entitlement to benefits;

20902. Payment of the pension in the country of residence, even if it is paid by another Member State;

Equal treatment with nationals of the country in which they work.

The beneficiaries are all employed and self-employed persons (including self-employed persons) who are nationals of the Member States; stateless persons or refugees who are resident in the Member States; family members and survivors; civil servants.

In all Member States, old-age, invalidity and death insurance, involuntary unemployment insurance and family allowances are guaranteed.

An application for a pension must be submitted to the competent institution for the territory of the State in which you are resident, accompanied by the following documents:

periods of work in Italy; name of the companies; qualification of the worker; INPS offices in Italy where pensions have been paid; work record, pay slips, employment letters, dismissal, etc.

INTERNATIONAL BILATERAL CONVENTIONS

Like the Community Regulations, Bilateral international conventions are legal agreements under international law under which the Contracting States undertake the obligation to establish and coordinate a reciprocal social insurance scheme which guarantees freedom of movement movement of labour by establishing:

20916. equal treatment in matters of social security for all nationals of the Contracting States;

20917. assimilation of the territory in the sense that social security benefits may not be affected by the fact that the beneficiary resides in a State other than that from which he receives the benefit;

C. the aggregation of insurance periods for the purposes of entitlement to benefit.

The countries with which Italy has concluded bilateral social security conventions are the following: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Jersey and Channel Islands, Macedonia, Monaco, Republic of Cape Verde, San Marino, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, Australia, Holy See, Switzerland, Tunisia, Israel and Libya.

As for Turkey, it is linked to Italy by the European Convention , which entered into force on 12 April 1990.
In addition, the conventions with Chile, the Philippines, Morocco and the Czech Republic have been signed but not ratified.

Partial social security agreements are also in force:

The Italo-Mexican agreement concerning the transferability of pensions; the agreement with Israel concerning only temporarily posted workers, who remain subject to the legislation of their country of origin.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SERVICES DEALT WITH UNDER THE CONVENTION

The aggregation of insurance periods is allowed provided that workers have a minimum period of insurance and contribution in the country that grants the pension. If the insurance periods are shorter than this minimum period, the contributions are not lost, but are used by the other State.
According to EEC Regulations, the minimum period is 52 weeks. For bilateral conventions, the minimum period is set differently from individual conventions.

“Prorata Temporis” means the system whereby each individual State determines the amount to be paid in proportion to the contributions paid internally.
If, for example, a worker has at least 20 years’ contribution in Italy, he is entitled to a national pension under an autonomous scheme, without having to resort to aggregating insurance periods.
When the contribution years are shorter, it is necessary to resort to the totalization of the contributions paid in Italy and in the other partner countries, in order to acquire the right to a pension. In this case, the calculation of the pension is made in pro rata, that is, in proportion to the insurance periods completed in the country that pays the pension.

“Minimum amount” means the monthly amount of pensions which in pro rata may not be less than one fortieth of the minimum treatment in force at the date of commencement of the pension, for each year of credited contribution in Italy. In 2003 the amount of minimum treatment was 402.12 Euro per month.

The “minimum treatment supplement” is that supplement established by law, in addition to the pension quota due to the insured, so that this share reaches a “minimum treatment”.

TAX ASPECTS OF PENSIONS

As regards the tax aspects of pensions, Italy has concluded agreements with several countries to avoid double taxation. These agreements provide for the tax exemption of the pension in the country of payment and taxation in the country of residence only.

Italy has concluded agreements providing for the tax exemption in the country of delivery and taxation in the country of residence with the following States: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation, Philippines, Germany, Japan, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhistan, Kuwait, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovak Republic, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, USA, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Hungary, Soviet Union, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia.

COLLECTION OF THE PENSION

The pensions in international agreement are collected through agreements between the INPS and the various banking institutions operating abroad in accordance with the procedures provided for by the contracts themselves.

INCREASES IN PENSIONS

“Increase in pension increases” means the increase provided for by the Finance Act 2002 of the measure of social increases to ensure a monthly income of Euro 516.46 per month for thirteen monthly payments per year.

Under international convention, increases in social security increases apply to pensions awarded abroad. Since 1 January 2003, it has been up to Italian citizens (who meet the legal requirements and after checking the income conditions) to increase the social bonus, such as to guarantee an income of their own.

PAYMENT OF PENSIONS ABROAD

Pensions are paid to residents abroad every month.

Pensions below a statutory limit are paid every six months, as is the case for pensioners in Italy.

The payment of pensions can be made by crediting the current account of the pensioner where it is provided for by an agreement between the INPS and the bank.

In general, INPS cheques are issued in the currency of the pensioner’s country of residence with the exception of some states with unlisted currencies in markets (such as Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela) where payment is made in US dollars.

INPS CONNECTIONS AND CONSULAR OFFICES

In order to make it more practical and easy to deal with the practices of those who have worked abroad, telematic links have been activated between the INPS and the consular offices abroad. Therefore, policyholders living abroad, going to the Consulate, can draw on any information related to the insurance position at the INPS in Italy and in particular any information on pensions.

APPLICATION OF SELF-CERTIFICATION IN MATTERS OF SOCIAL SECURITY

As a result of the application of Law 127/97, Italian citizens residing abroad can significantly reduce the certifications necessary to obtain the various benefits under conventional and non-conventional arrangements, being able to replace them with their own self-certification declarations.
Our compatriots living abroad can send to the various national institutions (INPS, INAIL, Treasury Ministry, etc…) special declarations with the value of self-certification and certifying the various states, facts and personal qualities as a qualification, income, professional qualification, etc.

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