An opening on the correctives to improve Option woman. And the commitment to an in-depth reflection on the new thresholds for the revaluation of pension checks, perhaps trying to slightly increase that for full equalization, currently envisaged for checks up to 4 times the INPS minimum, and on the use of vouchers, that “it must not become a tool for underpaying workers”. Giorgia Meloni does not close the door in her meeting with the unions, but, while expressing availability, moves with caution, reiterating that public finance spaces are tight and that the government on pensions in this phase “has chosen to help those who risked not do it”.
Towards a reform to overcome the Fornero law
The government’s objective remains that of defining an organic pension reform next year to overcome the Fornero law. And the prime minister indicates January 19 as the starting date for discussions with the social partners. A round that will follow that of January 12 in which the table at work will be launched. A path that does not satisfy the CGIL at all, as Maurizio Landini and Uil underlined (“you can’t eat with tables”, say Pierpaolo Bombardieri and Domenico Proietti for Uil) while the Cisl with Luigi Sbarra expresses more than an appreciation (see the article above).
Growing pension expenditure
Meloni’s announcement comes on the same day in which Istat with its report highlights that in 2021 the pension benefits paid to 16 million people were 22.7 million for an expenditure of 313 billion (17.6% of the GDP), up 1.7%. The dossier of the National Statistical Institute shows that 72.6% of outgoings are absorbed by old age and seniority benefits and that in 2020 almost one out of two families had a pensioner. The number of pension recipients who continue to work is on the rise: last year, according to Istat, there were 444,000, a marked increase compared to 2020 (+13.3%).
Data with which the government and trade unions will have to deal with in the comparison on the new reform. Also because spending is expected to grow sharply in the next few years under the pressure of the inflation race. A trend that makes a pending correction of the new pension revaluation mechanism unlikely, even if the government has undertaken to evaluate whether there is room for making some adjustments aimed above all at extending the number of pensioners who enjoy 100% equalization.
Female option, via the “children variable”
The modification of the new version of Option woman, from which the so-called “variable children” should disappear, is now almost certain. On this measure, moreover, a not negligible slice of the more than 3,100 amendments to the maneuver rained down by the parliamentary groups in the Budget Committee in the Chamber is concentrated. Starting with those of the opposition. With the Democratic Party that has packaged a sort of pension-work package with corrections that aim at a flat extension of the Women’s Option in the current version (exits for female workers at 58, 59 if “self-employed”, and 35 in payments), because , according to the group leader in the Chamber, Debora Serracchiani, vague reassurances and partial retreats are not enough. The new pension revaluation scheme is also in the sights of the Dems, who propose to strengthen the so-called 14ths of pensioners by adjusting them to inflation. Even the M5S aims to confirm the women’s option as it currently stands by rejecting the restyling of the executive, and proposes doubling the indexation of pension checks.