The Italian government has defined more stringent requirements for early retirement in the budget law for 2024. It has extended but reviewed measures allowing for an early retirement including the so-called ‘Quota 103’, ‘Ape Sociale’ and ‘Opzione Donna’.

With Quota 103, people can retire at 62 years old and with 41 years of contributions, but the pension payments will be determined completely based on contributions, as opposed to the so-called ‘metodo retributivo’ calculating the pay-out based on the income received in the last years of work, that translated into a higher level of pensions.

Moreover, according to the budget law, the amount of pension paid before reaching the statutory retirement age must not exceed four times the minimum pension paid by the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS), that is about €600 per month in 2024.

The right to an early pension, subject to the minimum contribution of at least 20 years, is given to people whose gross monthly amount of the pension is equal to at least three times the amount paid to people with a low income or in difficult financial conditions, (previously, 2.8 times), 2.8 times the amount paid to women with one child, and 2.6 times the amount paid to women with two or more children, according to the labour ministry.

The government has also added longer “moving windows” to exit working life, from the current three months to seven for employees in the private sector, and from six months to nine for workers in the public sector, therefore reforming the article of the law that introduced ‘Quota 100’, allowing early retirement at 62 years old with 38 years of contributions, for a period of three years between 2019 and 2021.

Women can ask for early retirement under the Opzione Donna at 61, instead of 60, and 35 years of contributions. The age for early retirement drops to 60 for women with one child, and to 59 for women with two or more children, according to the finance ministry.

In this case the government also applies the ’moving windows’ rule to exit employment to 12 months for women employees, and 18 months for those who are self-employed, meaning that self-employed women retire at 62 and a half years old.

APE sociale’ – a benefit paid by the INPS to, for example, the unemployed or workers who care for relatives with a disability, or are employed in strenuous jobs – has also been extended, but the age requirement to benefit from the option has been increased from 63 years to 63 years and 5 months.

For members of the pension fund for employees of local administrations, and members of pension funds working in healthcare (CPS), who leave their jobs early in 2024, the pension pay-out will be slightly cut to guarantee a certain level of assistance in the healthcare sector, according to the government, and to discourage early retirement.

The mechanism for indexing pensions to inflation which protects the lowest pensions has been confirmed for 2024.

The ‘Maroni Bonus’, named after former labour and interior minister Roberto Maroni, has been renewed, with a contribution reduction of around 10% for those who decide to stay at work after meeting the requirements for an early retirement.

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