Actuarial fairness when longevity increases: An application to the Italian pension system

This study analyses the actuarial characteristics of the Italian pension system throughout its transition from defined benefit (DB) to notional defined contribution (NDC) rules, taking into account expected increasing longevity. Computations rely on ad hoc projected cohort mortality tables based on a limit survival scenario depicted by demographic experts. Most workers retiring in the coming years, whose pension is partly computed according to DB rules, will receive more-than-actuarially fair pensions. However, the generosity of the pension system has been significantly reduced for them by a recent reform that tightened early retirement eligibility requirements. Disability benefits remain (extremely) generous when claimed before age (57) 60. Steady-state NDC pensions, due to dynamic efficiency, are less than actuarially fair. They further deviate from actuarial fairness due to the specific rules, based on historical mortality, adopted by the Italian law for computing and updating benefits while facing increasing longevity. Cohort mortality projections should be used to handle longevity changes in NDC schemes.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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