The National Social Insurance Institute (Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale / INPS) is responsibile for most of Italy’s social welfare programme. The INPS oversees retirement pensions, disability and survivors' benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, maternity benefits, compensatory wage increases, services for financially disadvantaged families and retirees, and other programmes.
Social security contributions on wages and income finance these services. Employees pay in approximately 9% of their gross salary; the employer's share is much higher (around 30%). Many professionals—architects, accountants, lawyers, engineers, and journalists for example—have their own social security funds. Freelancers without their own fund have to pay a contribution of around 26%, if they have no other compulsory insurance. They do, however, have the right to pass on 4% of their contribution to their clients in the form of a fee note. Freelance workers with atypical employment contracts may have up to two-thirds of their contributions paid by the client. Entrepreneurs pay a fixed contribution annually plus a premium based on a percentage on profits.
Employers insure employees against accidents at work and occupational illnesses through the National Institute for Occupational Accidents or INAIL (Istituto Nazionale per l'Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro). Health insurance is through the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale / SSN), which is financed by tax revenues.