The situation in Italy

JS – 02/2020

The Italian social security institution INPS ( is currently examining the impact of migration on the Italian pension system.

A large proportion of the immigrant population is young, making them important long-term contributors to the rapidly ageing Italian society. Immigrants are also more willing to take on work that Italians do not want to do, for example, doing harvesting work.

Another factor is the loss of Italians with a technical or university education who move abroad, which further increases the need for contributors.

As such, immigration seems essential for the Italian pension system.

According to experts, including those from the statutory pension insurance system, the positive effects of migration are confirmed by taking a look at public finances. The social security contributions and income taxes paid in Italy by immigrants exceed the social expenditure for immigrants by billions.

And the long-term view?

The long-term impact of immigration on the pension system will be monitored using further information such as population growth within the immigrant population.

In terms of social security law, Italy already boasts a good track record of integrating immigrants. In 2002, a law was passed that allow a migrant without a prior work permit to obtain a residence permit and a work permit. An employer only has to pay €700 worth of social security contributions and offer an employment contract for one year. The result is that around 700,000 people, e.g. from Albania, have been integrated into the social security system on a long-term basis as contributors.

And in Germany?

Given the ageing German population, it can also be assumed that the German economy and pension system are dependent on immigration. However, no specific conclusions can be made from data provided by the German pensions insurance system with regard to people with a migration background. Statutory pension insurance only records the citizenship of a person. As a result, anyone who has taken on German citizenship during the course of their insured life cannot be distinguished from those who have had German citizenship from birth.

You can find more information for Germany on this topic in: ‚Ausländische Versicherte und Rentenbezieher in der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung‘, Biber, Ulrich, Stegmann, Dr. Michael, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Apr 2019 (German only).