The Italian government has recently announced that the effects of the pension reform implemented in 2005 will be effective from 1 January 2007. The reform will alter the retirement age in Italy.

The reform will have a substantial impact on the insurance market, in that insurance companies (as well as banks or other financial entities) will have the opportunity either to establish and manage their own pension funds or to sell individual life policies for the purpose of setting up an individual pension plan. Neither of the activities will be subject to the guidance of the insurance sector authority (ISVAP). They will fall under the supervision of the pensions fund supervisory authority (COVIP).

The reform is clearly beneficial for insurance companies and the market in life policies is expected to show substantial growth.