Governed by the Inter-ministerial decree No. 78642 of 24 January 2014, published in the Official Gazette No. 86 of 12 April 2014, the Post Office Fund is an INPS pension scheme, it is not a legal entity and enjoys financial and asset autonomy.
The Fund aims to intervene against workers in crisis situations, restructuring, corporate reorganisation, reduction or transformation of activities or work, in order to favour the change and renewal of professionalism and implement active policies of income and employment support (circular No. 205 of INPS of 1 December 2016).
The Fund provides for the following ordinary payments: funding of training programs for professional training and/or retraining, including with the support of national and European funds; income support benefits for workers affected by reduced working hours or temporary suspension of employment (ordinary allowances), for the causes envisaged by the legislation on ordinary and extraordinary income support.
All dependent workers, excluding managers, who are dependent workers of Poste Italiane SpA and of the companies of Poste Italiane Group of which Poste Italiane SpA holds a controlling interest may claim the benefits. Banking, air transport and express courier companies are excluded.
START DATE AND DURATION
Access to the services is subject to the completion of the contractual procedures that modify working conditions of personnel involved or determine the decrease of employment levels provided for by the legislation. These procedures must be concluded with a company agreement. In the case of processes to reduce employment levels, all benefits provided can be accessed.
The ordinary allowance can be granted according to the criteria and limits currently provided for the wage compensation fund, as governed by INPS circular No. 197 of 2 December 2015 and No. 201 of 16 December 2015. The duration of the service is diversified and depends on the type of reason invoked. The maximum duration cannot be less than 13 weeks in a two-year rolling period and not exceeding, depending on the reason invoked, at the maximum durations envisaged for the causes identified by the ordinary and extraordinary wage compensation fund.
The wage supplement must be granted for the time deemed necessary to resume interrupted production activities. The intervention, therefore, is aimed at supporting both cases of contingent and short-term corporate crises, and cases of corporate crises prolonged over time and linked to a downsizing of production.
WHAT AM I ENTITLED TO?
For training programs, the contribution is equal to the corresponding gross remuneration due to the workers in question, reduced by the possible contribution of national or European Union funds.
For ordinary allowances, the benefit amount is set at 80% of the taxable payment for social security purposes that would have been due to the worker for the hours not worked (with application of the maximums of the Ordinary Wage Compensation Fund reduced by the amount equal to the contributions envisaged for the apprentices referred to in Article 26, Law No. 41 of 28 February 1986. This amount is revalued annually. The allowance is reduced for the possible concomitance of income support instruments provided for by the legislation in force on the Wage Compensation Fund for industry.
For 2020, the maximum monthly amount of the benefit, payable net of the 5.84% decrease, is equal to €939,89 for salaries equal to or less than €2.159,48, and to €1.129,66 for salaries greater than €2.159,48 (INPS circular No. 20 of 10 February 2020).
The Fund operates in accordance with the balanced budget principle and cannot make payments if it has no financial resources. Payments borne by the Fund are granted following the creation of specific financial reserves and within the limits of the resources already acquired.
For ordinary services (training and ordinary checks) two types of contributions are due to the Fund: the ordinary contribution of 0.50% (of which two-thirds are borne by the employer and one third by the workers), calculated on the taxable payment for social security purposes for all dependent workers with permanent contracts, excluding managers (any changes in the amount are distributed between employer and employee according to the same distribution criteria); the additional contribution of 1.5% (to be paid by the employer in the event of using the benefits of the ordinary allowance), calculated on the salaries taxable for social security purposes and applied to salaries lost by dependent workers who receive benefits.
Once the financing has been approved by the Fund's Management Committee, the regionally competent INPS office issues the relevant payment authorisation, deemed necessary for payment of the economic benefit to the workers in question.
Ordinary benefits are authorised with an adjustment payment by the employer. For the disclosure of data deemed necessary for the recovery of the amounts advanced in the balance payment, employers will be able to make use of the Uniemens flow, as explained with the INPS circular No. 170 of 15 November 2017.
The correlated contribution, due in the event of payment of an ordinary allowance, is calculated on the basis of the taxable payment for social security purposes and is useful for obtaining the right to a pension (including early retirement) as well as for calculating its size. The calculation is based on the financing rate in force in the relevant compulsory insurance scheme.
To access training programs, workers must be the recipients of a company agreement regarding training programs for retraining or professional re-training in the context of processes that modify the working conditions of staff.
Ordinary allowances can be accessed by all workers affected by a decrease in working hours or suspension of work, for reasons provided for by the legislation on ordinary or extraordinary wage supplementation for hours exceeding the limit of 36 hours per year per capita.
The granting of the ordinary allowance is subject to the condition that the recipient worker, during the period of decrease or suspension of work, does not carry out any type of work activities in favour of third parties, with the exception of ancillary work services referred to in Articles 48 and following, Italian Legislative Decree No. 81 of 15 June 2015. The reference to the provisions in force is deemed valid pursuant to INPS circular No. 130 of 4 October 2010.
HOW CAN I CLAIM?
The claim for accessing ordinary benefits must be submitted electronically by the company (INPS circular No. 122 of 17 June 2015). It will be taken into consideration by the Fund's Management Committee, which decides on the granting of benefits, according to the chronological order in which the claims are submitted and the Fund's assets, as well as on the basis of the priorities expressed by the Committee itself.