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Redemption of periods for missing and time-barred contributions
The constitution of life annuities serves to rectify missing contributions for invalidity, old-age and survivors' insurance that are time-barred and is therefore on the premise that the entity required to pay the contributions has failed to comply with a contribution obligation.
The constitution of annuities or redeeming periods through buyback contributions may be claimed:
- by an employer that has failed to pay the contributions and in this way intends to pay said contributions by rectifying the damage caused to the employee;
- by the employee themselves, in lieu of the employer, either if they still working or if they have already been granted the pension;
- by survivors of the worker.
The right to redeem such periods was initially provided only for employed work.
It has subsequently been made available to:
- relatives assisting owners of small businesses and trading companies (INPS circular No 31 of 1 February 2002);
- workers in farm holdings that cultivate their own land, other than the owner of the holding (INPS circular No 32 of 1 February 2002 and INPS circular No 36 of 17 February 2003);
- those who, by virtue of the fact that they fall under compulsory general insurance in the Separate Pension Scheme pursuant to Law No 335 of 8 August 1995, are not in fact required to make direct payments of contributions, as this portion is withheld by the client/managing partner and paid directly by the latter (INPS circular No 101 of 26 July 2010).
It is possible to redeem periods of work for which no contributions were paid and when contributions can no longer be paid against this period as they are time-barred.
Life Annuities cannot be claimed in cases where the provisions in force at the time the work was undertaken negated the insurance requirement, on any grounds. Failing to pay contributions may give rise to full or partial non-compliance with the insurance obligation. Partial failure also refers to cases in which a smaller contribution amount was paid in relative to the wages effectively received.
The period of work may be redeemed in full or in part. Contributions can only be credited to the worker after payment for a buyback contribution has been made and these contributions are eligible for determining entitlement and the compensation amount for all pension types.
Rules for calculating payments for buyback contributions are set out under Article 2 of Legislative Decree No 184 of 30 April 1997, as amended by Law No 247 of 24 December 2007. Payments for buyback contributions are calculated according to the rules governing pension payout and according to the wage or contribution calculation system, whilst taking account of the placement in time of the periods to be redeemed, also for the purposes of accrediting the number of contribution years required pursuant to Article 1(12)(13) of Law No 335 of 8 August 1995.
On approval of the claim, the decision is sent to claimants by registered post and also specifies the payment methods and terms.
Either an employer, or their successors, or the worker or their survivors may be eligible for constitution of revertible life annuities, as long as they can provide evidence to prove the actual existence and duration of employment, of the title held by the worker and of the wages received.
Evidence of the existence of the employment must be provided in the form of documents with a specified date, drawn up at the time in which the employment was undertaken (payslips, libretto di lavoro [booklet showing a person's current and previous employment], letters of engagement, letters of termination of employment, details of the employer leaving work, payrolls and register, and other documents pertaining to the employment declared). An original copy or duly certified copy of original documentation must be provided.
Evidence of the duration of employment, the ongoing nature of the work and the wage amount may be provided by other means, including orally.
Witness statements must be issued expressly within the meaning of and pursuant to Article 38 and Article 47 of Decree of the President of the Republic No 445 of 28 December 2000, whereby the declarant shall be held fully liable, including criminally, for the statements made. The declarant must attest to their relationship with the person concerned if they are a relative, affiliated with them or dependent on them, or if they have any particular interests regarding the facts on which their declaration is based and must specify the factual information on the basis of which they know the information they are declaring (Circular No 183 of 30 July 1990).
Claims for the constitution of life annuities in relation to missing and time-barred contributions may be put forward even if the claimant has never been insured with the INPS.
For more information, please see INPS Circular No. 78 of 29 May 2019.
How can I claim?
Claim must be made online to the INPS using the appropriate service.
Alternatively, claims can be made through:
- the contact centre on 803 164 (free for landline calls from Italy) or on +39 06 164164 from mobile phones;
- patronage institutes and intermediaries of the institute, using the electronic services that these provide.
For more information, please see INPS Circular No 46 of 22 March 2021.
If the claimant is the employer (company, domestic worker employer, client, owner of a small business/trading company/farm holding cultivating its own land) exercising the redemption right on behalf of the worker, the claim must be submitted to the INPS by filling out the Revertible Life Annuities CODE AP81 form or, alternatively, through an aid office that will provide assistance free of charge by law.
The claim must be submitted together with documentation that demonstrates the effective existence, duration and ongoing nature of employment.