Postal savings bonds are investment products and, together with postal savings books, are among the most popular forms of savings in Italy. Launched in 1924, they are about to celebrate their first century of life.
They have a yield established by decrees of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the last of which, issued on 6 July, set the remuneration at 2%, a sharp increase compared to the 0.5% of the previous issue. Once fixed, the rates are valid for the entire duration of the title and this avoids unwelcome surprises to those who subscribe them.
What makes them attractive
In the province of Padua, Corriere della Sera points out, every citizen has on average at least one interest-bearing voucher or a postal booklet. In Ravenna, again on average, one out of three citizens has at least one. Nationally there are more than 46 million and this testifies to a high approval rate.
It is simplicity, reliability and transparency that make them attractive. They are worth less than multi-year Treasury bills (BTPs) but are subject to different logics. Whoever withdraws the investment before the expiry has no losses on the capital but only on the interest not accrued and they do not have a secondary market that affects their remuneration.
They have no subscription or redemption costs, are subject to a subsidized taxation regime of 12.5% and are exempt from inheritance tax.
As written, the new issues of interest-bearing bonds have a yield 2% (compared to 0.5% of the previous issues) while the Vouchers reserved for minors have a return of 3.5% (compared to the previous 2.5%).
How to subscribe
Postal savings bonds are issued by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, are placed by Poste Italiane and are guaranteed by the Italian State. They can be signed in their paper form or – as defined by Poste Italiane – in the dematerialized form. Both types can be purchased at post offices while dematerialized ones can also be purchased online (on the poste.it website or via the BancoPosta app for mobile devices).
Those who subscribe to the traditional form receive a paper document that must be shown at the time of repayment (either early or at maturity) while, in the dematerialized form, the Coupon is represented by an accounting entry on the postal savings book or on the Bancoposta current account of the accountholder.
There are interest-bearing bonds of different duration and the Poste Italiane online simulator allows you to have an overview of the return based on the invested capital.
The minimum cut purchase price is 50 euros, the subscription is limited to one million euros per day for each individual.
In addition to the existing financial products, new ones have been introduced, including:
- 4×4 vouchers, with a maximum duration of 16 years with interest that is recognized at the time the subscriber wants the reimbursement of the voucher and in any case starting from the fourth year
- 3×4 vouchers, with a maximum duration of 12 years with interest that is recognized at the end of the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth years from the date of subscription
- 3×2 vouchers, with a maximum duration of 6 years with interest recognized in the third and sixth years from the date of subscription.
BTP or postal vouchers?
The rate of return of the BTPs changes on the secondary market but does not undergo variations for those who buy them and hold them until maturity. It is a double-edged sword for those who want to buy or sell them and find themselves in a position to make losses. Postal vouchers yield less but, not having a secondary market, they always maintain the same nominal value without therefore the possibility of making losses on the invested capital.
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