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are as follows: If the annuity acquired by the insured workman exceeds 365 lire ($70.45), he may choose one of the three plans—(1) Either receive the entire benefit as an annuity or (2) convert the excess of the annuity over 365 lire ($70.45) into an immediate lump-sum payment, or (3) leave the capitalized value of this excess with the insurance institution and receive the interest in addition to the annuity during life, the capital to be paid to the heirs at death.
If the annuity acquired amounts to less than 60 lire ($11.58) the insurance institution may of its own initiative liquidate it by a lumpsum payment of its capitalized value.
INVALIDITY INSURANCE.—The liquidation of the account and the computation of the annuity may be accomplished at any age in case of duly established invalidity, provided five years have elapsed since the beginning of the insurance. If the invalidity originated after the insurance was taken out, the value of the annuity must be raised to 120 lire ($23.16) per annum from the special invalids' fund. The benefits of this provision are not extended, however, to persons over 50 years of age at the time of insurance.
INVALIDITY FUND.-To provide for the payment of such invalidity pensions, a special invalidity fund exists, with the following sources of revenue:
(a) A lump sum of 10,000,000 lire ($1,930,000) to be paid by the State.
(6) Payments from persons or institutions responsible under the law for the support of the invalids.
(c) Annual contributions from the current revenues.
(d) Payments of persons insured with reservation of payments and dying without legal heirs.
(e) Interest on the investments of the fund of legacies and gifts given to this particular fund.
The 10,000,000 lire ($1,930,000) fund is to be paid from the treasury in five equal annual installments from the budgets of 1906–7 to 1910–11.
REGULATIONS CONCERNING INVALIDITY PENSIONS.—By the new regulations the term "invalidity” is defined as a condition which reduces the earnings of the person to less than one-third of the usual earnings of a worker in the same occupation and locality. Evidence of such invalidity must be furnished with the application for an invalidity pension, and such evidence must include certificates from a physician, from the local communal authority, and from the last employer for whom the insured had been working at the time the disability established itself. In addition, the administration of the institution may order a special medical examination. The administration may decline to grant the petition for an invalidity pension. The insured may appeal from the decision of the office to the administrative council of the insurance institution, but the decision of the council is final.
If the annuity acquired through the minimum payments and the regular benefits is less than 120 lire ($23.16) it is increased to that amount from the invalidity fund. Any annuity acquired by means of payments over and above the required minimum is added to this 120 lire ($23.16) annuity.
The following classes of insured persons are deprived of the right to receive the subsidy from the invalidity fund above mentioned: (1) Persons whose invalidity dates back of the time of commencing the insurance, (2) persons who have insured themselves at the age of over 50, (3) persons who have become invalids either through mali. cious intent, alcoholism, or through criminal misconduct, (4) those who became invalids through an industrial accident and have received, in virtue of the accident insurance law, a compensation corresponding to a loss of at least 50 per cent of working capacity, and (5) persons admitted to an insane asylum at public expense.
COLLECTIVE INSURANCE.—In order to encourage workmen's mutual benefit societies to insure their members collectively the institution is permitted to grant special benefits to persons thus insured, though such insurance may also be contracted for in accordance with the ordinary regulations concerning benefits. The special conditions must be stated in the insurance contract.
If in such insurance agreement the society contracts for immediate pensions to such of its members as have reached the minimum age for granting annuities (55 or 50 years according to the sex and occupation), then to each such pension the institution adds an annual bonus of 10 lire ($1.93), but if the original pension was less than 10 lire ($1.93) the annual bonus shall not exceed the amount of the pension.
The institution may also contract to assume the management of private and public establishment funds for old age and invalidity relief. The special conditions of each such contract must be determined by the administrative council and approved by the Government in each individual-instance.
In view of the evident intent of the law to stimulate the collective insurance of workmen against old age and invalidity through the instrumentality of the mutual benefit societies, the regulations concerning this form of insurance as contained in the Reglamento Technico are of great importance.
Such collective insurance is permitted to associations recognized under the law of April 15, 1886, and to other unincorporated associations, provided a majority of their membership conforms to the requirements of the law as to persons entitled to its benefits. Only insurance in which all members of an association are embraced is recognized as collective, though the association may except those of its members who are not workers or who are over 50 years old.
In order to acquire the right to the special benefits offered to collective insurance, the associations must make the insurance compulsory for its members by an amendment to its constitution, and must make annual contributions which, per capita, will not be smaller than the normal minimum contributions required.
When these conditions have been complied with the national oldage insurance institution will contribute a special benefit of 1 lira (19 cents) per annum in addition to the normal benefits to which the insured is entitled. When the association provides for insurance of its older members for a briefer period, these members receive a special benefit of 2 lire (39 cents).
Such members as do not possess the qualifications of workmen or petty independent producers, entitling them to the insurance under the workmen's roster, must be entered on the roster of "popular annuity insurance.” If a member is expelled from the mutual benefit association he loses his right to receive the special benefit for collective insurance, beginning with the year of his expulsion.
While ordinarily insurance is not written for a period briefer than 10 years, i. e., is not written for men over 50 years and women over 45 years of age, yet the occasion may arise that an association which has been conducting old-age insurance among its benefit features would desire to take out collective insurance with the national institution, and the presence of members over the maximum age might prove very embarrassing. The regulations provide, therefore, that under such condition, males over 50 years of age and females over 45 may be insured for a period less than 10 years, but so that the annuity does not mature before the age of 55 for the females and the males in the excepted trades and not before the age of 60 for all other male workers.
For those members who have already reached these age limits annuities may be purchased by the association, and in such cases the national institution grants an annual bonus to each annuity, the total annuity to be not less than 60 lire ($11.58).
If such associations are paying annuities at the time of taking out collective insurance they may transfer such obligations to the national institution, and the capital cost of such annuities is determined on the basis of either the tariff for workmen's insurance or the tariff for popular insurance according to whether the pensioner is a workman or not. All these benefits conferred by the new regulations upon collective insurance are extended to all mutual associations insured at the time these regulations go into effect.
The mutual benefit associations which have insured their membership may be authorized to perform for their members the simple financial operations of a branch office. Payment for such services must be limited to a per capita fee for all members in good standing for whom the minimum payments were made, and this per capita fee must be uniform for all associations.
The same conditions of collective insurance may be extended by the institution to employees of industrial undertakings or public enterprises.
OTHER FORMS OF INSURANCE.—Compensation from private employers or accident insurance companies, due to workmen disabled through industrial accidents or to workmen who became invalids because of old age or disease, may be deposited with this old-age insurance institution for conversion into an annuity.
Other forms of insurance business may be permitted to the old-age insurance institution by royal decree, but the net profits of such transactions must go to increase the normal annual revenues of the business.
Among these regular branches of insurance is the so-called “popular annuity insurance," open to all persons without the limitations established for the main line of insurance carried by the institution. Under this form of insurance none of the special bonuses or benefits previously described are granted. Whenever a person insured under the workmen's insurance plan loses the qualifications entitling him to such insurance (e. g., ceases to be employed and becomes an employer) the special bonuses and benefits to him are discontinued and the entire amount credited to him is transferred to a new account under the “popular insurance” plan. On the other hand, if a person insured under the “popular insurance” plan acquires the qualifications necessary to entitle him to insurance under the “workmen's insurance" plan, his account is so transferred and he acquires the right to the special bonuses and benefits, and the time of his insurance under the other plan is taken into consideration for the purposes of the liquidation of the annuity.
FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION.—The following special funds are provided in the financial organization in order to preserve the financial soundness of the institution: (a) The endowment fund as described above; (b) the fund of the insured, consisting of the payments made by the insured persons or for them and benefits paid to their accounts; (c) the annuity fund, from which mature annuity accounts are paid. At the time of granting each annuity a corresponding amount is to be transferred from the fund of the insured to the annuity fund. At least each five years a technical balance of these two funds must be struck.
(d) For the guarantee of these two funds a special reserve fund is created. Into this fund go any possible excesses found at the time of striking the balances of the two preceding funds, annual contributions from the current revenues, and other sums indicated in the regulations. The purpose of this reserve is to cover all possible deficits in the fund of the insured and in the annuity fund.
(e) Finally the invalids' fund, the constitution of which has been explained in conjunction with invalidity insurance.
The payment of annual contributions from the regular revenues of the institution into the special reserve must be discontinued when the reserve amounts to one-tenth of the sum of the amounts credited to the fund of the insured and the annuity fund.
If the amount of the special reserve is not sufficient to meet the deficits arising in these two funds, these deficits must be covered by heavier contributions from the annual revenues either within one or several years, in accordance with the judgment of the administrative council.
The funds of the institution are to be invested in Italian nationaldebt bonds; other government or guaranteed securities; railroad bonds guaranteed by government subsidies; trusts of institutions for land credit; bonds of provincial and communal governments and of undertakings for irrigation and improvement works; in urban real estate; interest-bearing deposits; or loans for construction of workmen's dwellings or mortgage bonds of undertakings for this purpose. The investments in real estate must not exceed one-fifth of all investments.
MINOR BENEFITS.—The cooperation of the postal-savings banks is given to the old-age insurance institution without compensation. This includes the operations for admission to membership, the receipt of contributions, and payment of annuities and other moneys.
Free postage privileges are extended to the institution in its correspondence with public institutions, its branches, propaganda committees, benefit associations, and the insured persons.
Tax EXEMPTIONS.- The National Old-Age and Invalidity Insurance Institution is granted the same freedom from taxes as the postal and other savings banks, such as special insurance taxes, registry fees, stamp dues, and taxes on legacies bequeathed to the institution.
The annual income from investments other than state or guaranteed securities are free from the income tax.
All the annuities granted under the "workmen's insurance” plan and under the popular insurance” plan, when not in excess of 1,500 lire ($289.50), are exempt from the income tax. The payments returned to the heirs of a deceased member are exempt from inheritance taxes.
CESSION, SEIZURE, ETC.—The annuities granted by this institution are not subject to cession or seizure, except the excess over 400 lire ($77.20) per annum. To prevent such cession, payments may be made to representatives of the member only in case of sickness cer