Even if only 205,000 units, at national level the number of pensions paid to Italians (equal to 22 million and 759 thousand checks) has exceeded the audience made up of self-employed workers and employees. The most “unbalanced” situation occurs in the South. If in the Centre-North, with the exceptions of Liguria, Umbria and Marche, active workers, even if only slightly, outnumber the pensions paid by INPS and other social security institutions, in the South the overtaking has already taken place: the latter , in fact, exceed the first one million and 244 thousand units. To say it is the report of the Research Office of the CGIA of Mestre, based on the Inps and Istat data referring to 1 January 2022.
In Naples the highest imbalance at national level
At the territorial level, all the regions of Southern Italy have a number of employed persons lower than the number of pension checks paid out. In absolute terms, the most “unbalanced” situations occur in Campania (balance equal to – 226 thousand), Calabria (- 234 thousand), Puglia (- 276 thousand) and Sicily (- 340 thousand).
At the provincial level, the most unbalanced situations in the South concern Palermo (-80 thousand), Reggio Calabria (-86 thousand), Messina (-94 thousand), Lecce (-104 thousand) and Naples (-137 thousand). Of all the 38 southern provinces, only two have a positive balance: they are Ragusa (+8,000) and Cagliari (+10,000).
The reasons for the gap
In principle, the reasons for this gap between workers and the number of pensions – according to the CGIA – are to be found in the strong drop in the birth rate which has been characterizing Italy for at least 30 years. The demographic decline, in fact, has helped to reduce the population of working age and to increase the incidence of the over 65s on the overall population. Between 2014 and 2022, the Italian population in the most productive age group (25-44 years) decreased by over one million and 360 thousand units (-2.3%).
“As regards the ‘anomalous’ result of the South, it should be noted that, compared to the other geographical divisions of Italy, the number of employed people is significantly lower. Finally, it should be highlighted that the result of this analysis is certainly underdimensioned; we recall, in fact, that in Italy there are just over one million and 700 thousand employed people who, after retiring, continue to continue to work on a voluntary basis in full compliance”, reads the Cgia report.
The economic risks for the future
A country with an increasingly elderly population could have serious problems balancing its public finances in the coming decades, above all due to the increase in pension expenditure, pharmaceutical expenditure and expenditure linked to personal care/assistance activities.CopyAMP code.
“With a very widespread presence of over 65s, some important economic sectors could suffer negative repercussions. With a much lower propensity to spend than the younger population, a society made up predominantly of the elderly risks reducing the turnover of the real estate, transport, fashion and hospitality sectors. Conversely, however, the banks could count on some positive effects; with a greater predisposition to save, older people should increase the economic size of their deposits, thus making many credit institutions ‘happy’”, reports the Cgia.
The possible ‘recipes’
To counter the drop in births and the consequent aging of the population, it is necessary to develop a series of medium-long term interventions.
“As the Bank of Italy has also had the opportunity to underline, it is essential, in particular, to strengthen policies aimed at demographic growth (e.g. aid to young mothers, families, minors, etc.), lengthen working lives (at least for people who carry out clerical or intellectual activity), increase female participation in the labor market and, finally, raise the education level of the workforce which in Italy is still among the lowest in the whole EU” , proposes the Research Office of the Cgia.