Pensions, for Italians there is a strong risk of disappointment: almost eight out of ten want to quit before the age to retire. And they expect checks that are too heavy

MILANO – Italians dream of retiring long before reality allows them. And they have a little too high expectations about the size of their salary. A mix of factors that risks turning into a bitter disappointment, if not into real economic difficulties, once they have stopped working.

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Progetica and Moneyfarm investigated the wishes and expectations of Italians with respect to the real situation in which they will find themselves at the time of retirement, coming to define their “unrealistic” expectations.

An indication of a relationship, that between workers and social security, made up of many shadows comes from the fact that six out of ten people have a precise idea of ​​when they would like to stop working, but as many as 30% of 50-year-olds have not even thought about it. The more time passes, the more the age at which one would like to hang the tag rises rises: the twenty-year-olds aim to retire at 55, the thirty-year-olds at just under 60. But the real fact is that very few are aware of the mechanisms that regulate retirement. Only half of workers say they know when they will retire and in a third of cases these ‘consciences indicate the age of 67 (current old age requirement).

76% of workers would like to quit earlier than permitted

The problem is that only in 18% of cases wishes (when I would like to stop working) and reality (when I am allowed to retire) coincide, so much so that 76% would like to be able to stop working before retirement age. Only 6% would like to stop working after the legal age. A good number of people, 32%, will have to work up to 5 years longer than their expectations; 26% will have to work between 6 and 10 years longer than expected; 17% even over 10 years more. With increasing age, the discrepancy between one’s desires and reality fades, in short, one becomes more realistic about “when”.

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The risk of “presentism” and unjustified optimism about the checks of the future

The distances on the “how much” of the social security allowance are even greater. Here, from the survey to the workers, we can read in fact a double jump: firstly between what we would like to receive and what we estimate is actually possible. But even this estimate, theoretically realistic, could be ‘busted’ compared to the real funds that will arrive in your pocket with retirement. When asked about “how long would you like to live in retirement”, the answer grows as the starting income increases: from 1,746 euros for those who earn a thousand today, up to 3,621 euros for those who earn over 3,000. “In short, the desired figure on average tends to be in line with, if not higher than, the respondent’s current salary,” say the researchers.

Forced into a reality bath, the Italians reduce expectations. And then, called upon to express their concrete retirement prospects, they lower the target from a minimum of 800 to a maximum of 3,000 euros, with a peak of 12% which expects to receive 1,200 euros. Analyzing the answers by income bracket, it is noted that those who earn up to a thousand euros expect an average check of 995, those who earn up to 2,000 euros expect a check of 1,200, up to those who earn over 3 thousand euros which are expected to be 2,482. But, as we said, even this forecast risks being optimistic: Moneyfarm-Progetica estimates that the replacement rate (i.e. the percentage of the last income covered by the public pension) will drop to 60% for men who are now 60 years old and at 54% for women (to drop further for younger people).

Considerations that on the whole point out to pension and savings experts that “a dangerous presentism is emerging, which still leaves very little room for planning”. For Giovanni Daprà, co-founder and CEO of Moneyfarm, “Although certain evidences have been on everyone’s lips for years and despite numerous legislative interventions, this research reveals an (unfortunately) unjustified optimism on the part of Italian savers”.


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