ITALY- The Italian government will be introducing incentives to encourage employees to delay retirement, in an attempt by the Italian government to cope with an ageing population. The Italian government calculates that by 2025 pensioners will outnumber workers.
A pensions reform has been discussed by the Italian government for some months, but it was unclear whether, in order to keep people at work for longer, employees would be offered a cash incentive to stay, or whether they would have to pay a penalty if retiring before the age of 60. Currently Italians can claim a state pension at the age of 57 as long as they have worked at least 35 years.
Roberto Maroni, minister for welfare, labour and social policy, has objected to the penalty system, and has proposed plans to introduce incentives to employees in the form of tax relief on their pensions or bonus payments. Maroni firmly denies, however, rumours that these bonuses will increase pension incomes by up to 20%.
It is insisted that, as yet, nothing has been formally decided, but the reforms may be included in the Budget that is being announced at the end of the month.
Also under discussion is the possibility of increasing the age of retirement, although the unions have expressed their disapproval of such a measure. Employees would be required to have contributed for 37 years, with the minimum retirement age set at 58.