Monti govt embarrassed retirement limbo figures
ROME—Italian Premier Mario Monti's government has been caught up in a storm over figures that suggest it had underestimated the number of people caught in a welfare "limbo" between work and retirement.
The government's pension reform has left exposed a group of workers who volunteered to retire early and took a payment that should have tided them over until the state pension started.
However, when government raised the retirement age, a gap was created between the period the payment was meant to cover and the start of state benefits.
The government has put the number of affected workers at 65,000 -- and came up with funds to cover them. But fresh numbers from the state pension agency says the total is 390,000. Labor Minister Elsa Fornero on Tuesday rejected the figures, saying they included people already officially retired.