MPs and senators guaranteed new pension

M5S MPs protesting the new pension

ROME- It’s official: From September 15, Italian MPs and senators will enjoy yet another pension upon their retirement. The payments will commence when they turn 65 (or 60, if they are re-elected) and will consist of a monthly payment of 1000 Euros, to be added to any other pension they are entitled to.

Despite being extensively described as a ‘vitalizio’ (an annuity) by Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle, the payment will effectively be a bonus to collect upon retirement.

Those eligible for the pension will have to have sat in one of the two chambers for at least a year and six months, and it will affect two-thirds of all MPs.

Ironically, despite the moment best efforts to reduce parliamentary costs and expenses, all 88 MPs and 35 senators affiliated with the Movement 5 Stelle (M5S) will benefit from this new pension. This is because the pension favours those new to parliament, and Grillo’s party was virtually non-existent before the last general election. Ironically, the reduction of parliamentary costs and the elimination of political privileges have always been two of M5S’s flagship political battles.

Grillo commented: ‘’You have finally made it. You finally developed the right to occupy your little cloud in the political caste’s paradise (sic).’’

 But Grillo’s party will not be the only one to benefit from this new pension. An estimated 66% of the Partito Democratico’s MPs and senators (209/301 MPs and 71/113 senators) will be eligible for the pension bonus.

In a press conference, the M5S declared that they will fight in both chambers to renounce their pension. The movement publicly asked the presidents of the two chambers, Grasso and Boldrini, to comply with their demands, and to ‘’salvage the dignity of the two chambers.’’

This development comes at a delicate moment. Next week, the Senate will discuss a cut on political annuities. This resolution is unlikely to pass, as it would be applied retroactively, thus possibly proving unconstitutional and causing a deluge of lawsuits from those who would be lose this privilege.