According to statistics published by Istat, the national Italian statistics agency, and INPS, the national social security institute, there were 16.5 million people receiving a pension in Italy in 2004, a 1.2 per cent increase on 2003 figures.
The total sum of money allocated to pensions in 2004 came to 207.974 million, (a 5.5 per cent increase from 2003) in a country where the average annual salary is 12.557.
There are currently 72 pensioners for every 100 people in employment with 67.6 per cent of those in retirement being above the age of 65 years. A total of 28.8 per cent are between 40 and 64 years of age and 3.6 per cent are below 40 years of age.
The majority of pensioners are women but on average receive less pension money compared to their male counterparts. In 2004, the average annual pension for men was 14.946 and 10.444 for women. One in four pensioners still receives less than 500 a month.
The majority of the countrys pensioners live in the south, 47.3 per cent, compared with 30.1 per cent for the north and islands, 19.5 per cent in central Italy and 3.1 per cent abroad.
Most people have only one pension 68.8 per cent, but 24 per cent have two pensions, 5.9 per cent have three and 1.3 per cent have four upwards. There are various types of pension, from old age to civil invalidity, and they can be accumulated.