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Englewood, Colo. and Toronto, Canada, June 3, 2011 - Western Union, in collaboration with L'Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI) which manages Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale (INPS) pension payments for Italians living abroad, has processed the payment of more than 140,000 pensions across 60 countries since May 2010.

Download ICBPI initiative FAQs in English.

Download ICBPI initiative FAQs in Italian.

Englewood, Colo. and Toronto, Canada, June 3, 2011 - Western Union, in collaboration with L'Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI) which manages Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale (INPS) pension payments for Italians living abroad, has processed the payment of more than 140,000 pensions across 60 countries since May 2010.

Western Union was chosen by ICBPI for the reliability of its service, expertise in handling cross border transactions, and its global network.

Beginning in May 2011, the Italian government via INPS mandated that overseas pensioners must prove their existence every year in order for the government to maintain updated pension payment records. Pensioners can satisfy this requirement by picking up their pensions in person at any one of Western Union's more than 412,000 Agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, Western Union has more than 2,700 Agent locations.

The company is working hard to address challenges posed by the new verification requirement, including the lack of identification papers, changes in the spelling of names and more. ICBPI has also sent out letters to pensioners to explain and clarify the collection process, and pensioners should confirm records of their names with ICBPI before travelling to Western Union Agent locations to collect payments. Western Union continues to work with ICBPI and IINPS to identify ways to ease the process for pensioners.

Western Union is proud of its fast, reliable and simple processes for cross border money transfers and payments. Millions use Western Union to transfer money and pay bills every day - on average Western Union processes over 19 transactions per second. Currently Western Union also processes pension payments for French, Chilean and Italian pensioners overseas.

"This has been a learning process for everyone - Western Union, ICBPI, INPS. But we all share the same goal - to ensure pension payments are made to the right beneficiaries, quickly. Western Union had been paying out cash to pensioners for 12 months, before the new requirement by INPS for "proof of life" was mandated in May 2011.

"Our Agents are doing everything possible to help beneficiaries collect their pensions. However, money transfer, like all financial services, is highly regulated and we must meet strict international and national compliance laws when paying out money," said Brian Fox, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Canada - Western Union.

Pensioners who need assistance with the new processes can call ICBPI at (011) 39.0432.744.252 / fax (011) 39.0645.485.692 or email to servizio.inps@icbpi.it.

To find the nearest Western Union Agent location in Canada, go to http://westernunion.com and look for the Agent Locator Tool

Download ICBPI initiative FAQs in English.

Download ICBPI initiative FAQs in Italian.