«Voucher and low wages create poor workers and future poor retirees»- Corriere.it

«Voucher and low wages create poor workers and future poor retirees»- Corriere.it

Pasquale Tridico

"Stop taxing labour, this model is no longer sustainable with an ever-decreasing number of workers, frozen wages and stagnant population growth." Also because a country of workers "with vouchers, intermittently and low wages risks having poor workers who will then be poor pensioners". Pasquale Tridico speaks for the last time as president of INPS in a press conference at the end of his mandate and, taking stock of his 4 years at the helm of the institute, he warned of the risks he runs and will run in an Italy where there will always be more retirees than workers: «The imbalance between income and expenditure is the main problem in terms of sustainability of the Italian social security system", and explains what he defines as "the baby boomer problem», that is, the exit from the labor market of the children of the economic boom of the early 1960s.

Exit of the «baby boomers»

«It is the Italian pension problem - says Tridico -: «The growth of the pension expenditure curve will continue to grow until 2035; today those born in 1960 are retiring, the year that was the `boom' of births in the history of the Republic with over one million births and the boom in births lasted at least until 1975». But now with the steady population growth, fewer workers enter the labor market than leave. In addition, precarious jobs and low wages are unable to support today's and tomorrow's pension systems. On the one hand we need to find, says Tridico, «a third pillar for the new septuagenarians»: according to a Kearney-Swg research, in 2050 they will be 70% of the population. «Until now - says Tridico - we have thought that there were only two pillars: the public social security one and the private one: in reality there are three, a universal one financed on a tax basis, a second pillar which is social security and which depends on the working life of each of us and a private integrative third party, but on which the public can also exercise».

"Poor Retirees"

At the same time there is the problem of the "working poor and future poor retirees". «It is evident - reflects the INPS president - that today the social security system is based on work: the more stable the job is, the more it is paid, the higher our pension is». But «vouchers instead have a basic contribution of 13% while an employee has a contribution of 33%: think of what it means when he retires. He will find 20 percentage points less if he lives only on vouchers or if he lives on intermittent, time-based, precarious or low-wage contracts". So, she says, «to fight poverty, I prefer to intervene ex ante rather than post».

The figures

Tridico then rattles off the numbers of his 4 years at the helm of INPS, presenting the 2022 budget approved on Tuesday by the Board of Directors «with a surplus of 23 billion» compared to 2021 with +8.1% of contribution revenues equal to 256, 138 billion and a positive result for the year of 7.1 billion. And then: «25 million insured workers, 42 million users, 380 billion in social security expenditure a year, 10 million single checks for minors, 22 million pensions, 2 million Naspi». For the Covid emergency, the state has spent 120 billion: "Half passed through INPS for about 16 million more users". And then there were 12,000 hires, "the public body that hired the most", 5,000 in the last year; the contact center was brought in-house; agile work has been increasingly developed; increased productivity - «services in 15 days against 6 months four years ago» -; doubled investment in technology.

They were four years, says "very difficult" in which however "the central role of the Institute in the economic life of the country was demonstrated: the pandemic, energy crisis, war have completely changed the budget and the role of the Institute, managers and employees with the Board have done everything to be at the service of the country in a dramatic historical moment, the worst in times of peace that our country has ever experienced. Today we know that INPS cannot be done without".
And he sends "a wish to the new top management who will come, because they will find a better INPS than the one I found".

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