Among the many knots that Mario Draghi will have to dissolve in an attempt to form the government there is one inevitable and very intricate: the fate of Quota 100.
But what is it about? This is the reform introduced by the first Conte government, at the push of the Lega, which allows all workers who reach at least 62 years of age and 38 of contributions to retire early until 31 December 2021. This way you can then leave your job up to 5 years before the 67 years of age required for the old-age pension. The Conte bis government, no longer supported by the Carroccio, had already announced that Quota 100 would not be extended but, aware of the need to avoid a sudden staircase (from 62 to 67 years), it proposed to introduce intermediate solutions starting from the first January 2022. Draghi will necessarily have to start from here.
The fears of Brussels
The prime minister in charge will certainly not be able to accept the request of the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, for which Quota 100 is not touched. If only for two reasons. First, the European Commission has repeatedly expressed concern about a measure that goes in the opposite direction to the containment of social security spending, which is particularly high in Italy, especially in perspective, due to the progressive aging of the population. And the decisive commission for the ok to the 209 billion destined for Italy by the Next generation Eu. Second, the reform has not given good evidence of whether Salvini himself, on an objective examination, should admit it. It was a half flop in terms of numbers. According to the technical report attached to the reform, 973,000 workers had to retire early with Quota 100 in the three-year period 2019-2021, but in the first two years only 267,802 did so.
Also doctors and teachers away
In short, the measure was less successful than expected, probably because many workers saw that by retiring earlier, therefore with fewer contributions, they would have lost a lot compared to the full pension amount at 67. Not surprisingly, the reform has gone relatively better in the public sector, where, in particular women, more easily reach 38 years of contributions, causing considerable damage in the school and health sector, with tens of thousands of early retirements of which he would gladly have done without, given the pandemic (with the paradox that retired white coats had to be asked to return to work). Moreover, thanks to the crisis, the exit of workers with Quota 100 did not open the doors to massive hiring of young people, as promised by the League.
Less expense than expected
This year, however, Quota 100 could work, at least in the private sector, even more than what happened in 2019-20, as a sort of social safety net to facilitate the retirement of some of the workers who risk losing their jobs when the job ends. freeze on layoffs (currently in effect until March 31). In short, the accounts will be done in the end, but we can already say that a part of the 21 billion allocated in the three-year period (40, projecting expenditure at full capacity) will be saved. The CGIL calculates 7 billion, a third in fact. It will probably be less, but these resources can still be used to finance alternative measures starting from 1 January 2022.
The most popular hypothesis in the Conte bis was Quota 102, raising the minimum age to access early retirement to 64 years. In the alternative, a flexible mix of requirements (et + contributions), the sum of which is always 102. All this with the addition of penalties for each year in advance of retirement at 67 years. These hypotheses are rejected not only by the League, but also by the unions. How will Draghi come out? With pragmatism. He has already said that he will consult the social partners, as well as the parties. The starting positions are distant, true. But there are some conditions that could favor a compromise. All the parties involved agree that on January 1, 2022, an intermediate solution between Quota 100 and 67 years must be obtained. And everyone knows that among the social safety nets necessary to tackle the employment crisis, it is also necessary to put in place early retirement tools. Finally, a few billion of those allocated for Quota 100 will certainly advance. A breakup would not suit anyone.