Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 13

The current situation of  the Associations of Retired Staff from Banks in Italy


            When we seriously analyse the current situation of the Italian Associations of Retired Staff from Banks and Saving Banks, we inevitably become aware of the “revolution” implied by the merger of credit societies in large banking groups. Indeed, even if there still are today different corporate names - customers are loyal to them - the administrative and political decisions are taken by the main Groups of holding companies.


Such a situation causes dialogue problems between Associations of Retired Staff and firms Managers. This is mostly happening for the Complementary Pension Funds proposed by “old” firms taken over by the new Banking Groups.


Indeed, those Groups have created new Complementary Pension Funds for the new employees, and the existing Funds where declared Closed-end Funds through an agreement with Trade Union organizations. 


            Moreover, the transfer from the “old” funds to the new ones for staff at work has consequences: it takes away importance from the old funds and allows to break away from any responsibility towards the holders.


            Nowadays, Associations are going through difficulties, either because of the described situation or as a consequence of the successive and restrictive rules imposed by the Government in terms of prevision. That explains the difficulties of acting directly, that is to say participating in the negotiations, monopoly of Trade Union organizations. Associations must go to an industrial tribunal to settle a dispute, which means that those disputes must go through three levels of the judiciary system and it will take a long time before a judgment is reached. And even if the retired people often win the case, it means a waste of money and energy.


Furthermore, each Banking Group has not yet been able to create a single union merging all their Associations, which would be very desirable, even beginning with a mere coordination, before reaching the merger. It would facilitate the work of the existing Federation in the coordination of the different actions and activities launched to defend the affiliated members. 


Concerning this issue, it would be very interesting to broaden up the debate to all the Associations of Retired Staff in Italy. Indeed, the number of affiliated people in Italy is really high and nearly all the categories of retired workers have created associations. However, contrary to other European countries, no Confederation has been created that could have a real political weight in the face of the Government and Trade Unions. Moreover, thanks to this kind of Confederation, Trade Unions could no longer pride themselves to be the only representing bodies of pensioners.


            At the present time, there is in Italy a “Coordinamento per la difensa della Previdenza” that brings together 42 Associations or Organizations with nearly 1.800.000 affiliated members, but it has not yet been able to act as a united body and is therefore a weak and powerless organization.


            I think that brief enumeration of dates and facts gives a picture of the current situation of any Association of Retired Staff and particularly of Saving Banks Associations. No doubt that the present executives -and I know their capacities- will examine all the necessary means to reach the set targets to defend the rights of every retired person, member or non-member.                                                                                                                Franco Salza