Improved customer service and efficiency for pensioners

INPS is the primary Italian government pension fund and the largest in Europe in terms of overall pensions paid

The challenge

INPS mandated Citi to manage international pension payments, traditionally dealt with by domestic financial institutions, covering 410,000 pensioners in 131 countries.

In addition to researching solutions that guarantee the efficiency of the payment execution service, INPS wanted to improve its control of the payments process by implementing a new Proof of Life process which is reliable, efficient and simple (easy to manage for the pensioner) and also to update its central database.

The solution

For the first time in history this politically sensible service has been awarded to a bank not head quartered in Italy. Citi won a public bid in compliance with the Italian regulation. Citi developed a complete payment service suite leveraging its WorldLink global payment platform. It also integrated a number of complex value added services into the solution, including Proof of Life certification, central pensioner database management (working with key partners and data from a number of sources), an interactive pensioner web site and an IVR enabled free phone help line has been established to serve pensioners via a call center which supports six different languages. The service provision is disciplined by an innovative and comprehensive contractual approach specifically tailored to avoid service inconsistencies in respect to INPS's requirements.

The result

Citi was awarded the mandate and on 1 November 2011 posted an Introduction Pack in six languages to Italian pensioners living in 131 different countries. The pack includes an introduction letter, a Life Certificate form and a FAQ booklet with relevant instructions and contact details of the Citi INPS pensioner support team. Pensioners were not required to visit a Citi office to get information about their new pension arrangements but it was made available at branches should they wish to.

The project was implemented from Italy for countries within EMEA while implementation occurred locally for all other locations around the world. The first pension payments cycle was successfully completed on 1 February 2012, consisting of approximately 250,000 payments in 131 countries. Payments were disbursed using several methods, including account credit, cash pick-up and checks.

Through the Proof of Life cycle INPS has benefited from a well-developed MIS structure providing consistent tracking information on completed and outstanding certifications. This resulted in considerable cost savings due to Citi and INPS significantly reducing the risk of paying pensions to individuals or agents other than the entitled beneficiaries.