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Survivors’ pension under the totalization scheme

Publication: 13/04/2022

Totalization allows workers who have paid contributions into multiple funds, social security schemes or pension funds to be entitled to a unified survivors' pension.

Unlike the transfer of contributions, which incurs charges, totalization is completely free.

The pension in question is granted to survivors of all dependent workers, self-employed and freelance professionals, who have paid contributions in various funds, social security schemes or pension funds.

Start date and duration

Survivors' benefits under totalization can be collected from the first day of the month following the death of the insured.

What am I entitled to?

The amount of the survivors' pension is determined "pro-quota" by each pension scheme concerned, in relation to the accrued registration periods.

Generally, pension shares paid by public social security institutes are calculated using the contributory system rules.

However, if the worker registered before 1996 has already completed the minimum requirements for the right to an autonomous pension in one of these schemes, a wage-based scheme/mixed calculation is carried out.

The interested party has the right to claim the most favourable calculation system if holding such rights. 

Survivors' pension disbursed under the totalization scheme:

  • the normal IRPEF taxation is provided for in a similar manner to all the other pension payments deriving from contributions;
  • the supplements by way of automatic revaluation of pensions are applied with reference to the unified treatment considered as a whole, based on the provisions of the law in force and at the expense of the scheme concerned;
  • disbursement of family payments is envisaged;
  • any trade union withholding deductions are applied;
  • no deductions are made for income from employment or self-employment;
  • the supplement to the guaranteed minimum pension is not recognised;
  • social supplements are granted provided that among the "quotas" that comprise the pension, at least one of the schemes with respect to which this benefit is provided exists, if the required income conditions are met.

The total amount of the pension resulting from the totalization is paid by INPS, also on behalf of other institutions with which specific agreements have been entered into.

INPS provides for the payment of pensions even in cases when no contributions were made in its regard.


The totalization can be enforced for the settlement of the survivors' pension of the insured, even if the latter had passed away before acquiring the right to a pension.

The right to the indirect pension arises on the basis of insurance and contributory requirements and the additional requirements of the pension form under which the worker is registered at the time when the death occured.

For the purposes of obtaining the pension, the totalization right of the insurance periods can be enforced for deaths that occurred starting from 3 March 2006.

The direct pension settled under the totalization scheme is revertible to the survivors in the manner and within the limits provided for by each individual social security scheme.

How can I claim?

The claim for survivors' pension must be submitted by the relevant surviving family member to the last enrolment pension institution, i.e. the institution to which the last contribution in favour of the worker was paid.

If the worker was enrolled in more than one social insurance scheme, the survivor is given the option to choose the scheme to which to submit the claim.

The claim, if the institution in question is INPS, can be submitted online to INPS through the dedicated service.

The claim must indicate all institutions where the dependent worker contributed. The office that receives the claim starts the procedure with the other institutions concerned.