Cash: how the new limits for salaries and pensions work

The new rules on the payment of salaries are now under way, and from now on they can no longer be made in cash, but strictly by means of traceable instruments, such as transfers or cheques.

A real crackdown decided with the 2018 Stability Law, which provides that these rules must apply to any kind of amount is transferred from an employer to its employee. This is no small clarification, given that for payments of a commercial nature instead remember that there is a maximum threshold of three thousand euros, previously set at one thousand, beyond which cash is no longer allowed.

For salaries, however, as already mentioned, whatever the amount will be, it must be given out with traceable financial instruments. But let’s see who the new discipline applies to and how it will be applied.


The employment contracts that will be subject to the new rules on the prohibition of cash payment of wages are those of an employee nature (permanent, fixed-term, partial), but also the relationships of coordinated and continuous collaboration and those established with cooperatives.

On the other hand, employment relationships with the public administration and those involving carers and domestic helpers who work at least four hours a day with the same employer will not be subject to the new law.

How to pay

As already mentioned, the new discipline on salary payments requires that only traceable financial instruments are used.

Employers will, therefore, be able to pay their wages by bank transfer, by electronic payment instruments, by cash payments at a bank or post office counter where the customer has opened a treasury current account with a payment order, or finally by issuing a bank cheque or bank draft.

Note that the rules are very strict, and provide that anyone who is discovered to violate them will be subject to a penalty ranging from one thousand to 5,000 euros.


The new rules on salaries are in addition to the existing rules on the payment of pensions.

For the latter, in fact, since April 1, 2012, the law provides that for monthly amounts exceeding one thousand euros, you must be credited to a bank account or postal account, a postal booklet or a prepaid card.

This completes the framework of a regulation that explicitly aims to combat tax evasion, though, as mentioned, timely traceability of payments. Among other things, in the case of wages, this motivation is combined with those related to the respect of minimum wages and the fight against the deplorable phenomenon of the “out-of-favour”.

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