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Pensions and social security

(Reference Office: D.G.IT. – DESK III)




By “social security” we mean the set of measures aimed at providing benefits for citizens in need. These measures range from free care for the destitute, to the establishment and integration of bodies and institutions ensuring that maintenance and social assistance are provided to citizens unable to work and lacking the means to live, and that workers are provided with adequate means for living in the event of accident, illness, disability, old age and involuntary unemployment.

Social security comprises:

– social assistance, which fulfils a general function of protecting the needy, extended to all citizens in case of need;

– social insurance, which fulfils the specific function of protecting workers.

For further details and to know the requirements to be met for obtaining the benefits provided by law, please consult the INPS website (sito web dell’INPS).



By “international social security” we mean the social protection of nationals habitually resident in another country, guaranteed by international regulations. In the European Union, social protection is ensured and provided through the implementation of the EU Social Security Regulations, which are self-executing, i.e. immediately and directly applicable in the current 27 EU Member States.

Since June 1, 2002, these regulations have also been extended to the Swiss Confederation through a special agreement.

In the non-EU area, social protection is normally implemented and provided through bilateral Conventions.

For details please consult the INPS website (sito web dell’INPS).



For the payment of pensions (over 411,000) to the entitled people resident abroad (in 131 countries), the Italian Social Security Institute (INPS) avails itself of a credit institution that is awarded a tender which is renewed every three years. The bank entrusted with the service operates, in turn, through corresponding credit institutions in the different areas.

Pensions are paid to residents abroad every month. Pensions below a threshold established by law are paid every six months, as is the case for pensioners in Italy. Pensions are generally paid by crediting the related amounts to the pensioner’s current account.

The paying bank is responsible for checking the pensioner’s existence in life, address and residence annually.

Since February 2012 the payment of pensions abroad has been entrusted to Citibank.

The procedures agreed between INPS and Citibank for providing proof of life require the pensioner to complete and sign a “Certificate of Life Form’ (received from the bank at his / her home address), and have it notarised by the consular office or a public official authorized by the legislation of his / her country of residence and sent it to the bank. At the website you will find all the necessary information, including a list of Public Officials authorised to authenticate the Certificate of Life in each country or geographical area, as well as telephone and email references dedicated to user assistance, which the parties concerned may also contact directly.