Understanding INPS

What is INPS in Italy?

The National Institute of Social Security ( INPS ) is the main social security institution of the Italian public pension system, in which all public or private employees must be enrolled and most of the self-employed workers who do not have their own autonomous pension fund .

INPS covers old age pensions, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, and paid sick leave.

Who is it for?

If you are an expat working in Italy you have the same rights as Italian workers when it comes to social security. It is up to your employer to register you and make contributions from your salary each month. The level of contributions varies by industry but you can track what is going on via the website www.inps.it using your own personal identification number.

Eventually your retirement benefits will be determined according to the years you made contributions and the salary you received. If you are only in Italy for a short while and not intent on retiring here then it is possible to integrate with other EU state pensions.

In Italy self-employed workers fall into different categories and some, such as lawyers and accountants, have their own alternative to the INPS system. For everyone else it is compulsory to register and contribute to INPS. This can put a burden on low-earning self-employed people and it is worth seeking guidance before you commit the system.

It will be your responsibility to make contributions on a quarterly basis using the F24 form. Payments can be made easily online with most banks providing the facility to pay via their websites. The amount you pay will be according to income from the previous year on an estimate if you are just starting out.

What are the benefits provided by INPS?

If you are absent from work for between 4 and 180 days you entitled to up to 2/3 of your daily wage. The first step, as expected, is to visit your doctor who will communicate with INPS and your employers with details of your sickness and the expected time for you to be absent.

To prevent abuse of this system you will have to remain at home at certain predetermined times in case an authorised doctor pays you a visit to verify your sickness.

INPS will also cover maternity leave for mothers and, in some cases, for father too.

How does INPS interact with my other EU state pensions?

If you have come to Italy to retire from another EU state then you would normally apply for your pension in Italy or the country where you last resided (if you have never worked in Italy). It is their responsibility to then process your claim and consolidate the records of your various pension contributions from each country in which you have worked.

It is up to each EU country’s social security system to calculate the part of your pension it should be responsible for. INPS will consider all contribution periods completed in all EU countries and calculate your pension according to how much you would have theoretically received if you had paid into their system for that entire period. The “theoretical amount” is adjusted to reflect the actual time you were covered in that country as pro-rata benefit.

Each individual EU country is then responsible for paying you a pro rata pension if you have satisfied its eligibility criteria.


If you’re an expat in Italy and need help with financial planning whether your working, self-employed or retired then don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form below.

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