Twenty years after the socalled «Dini Reform» it is possible to understand whether the reform has influenced the main variables of the Italian socio-economic system and to what extent it has achieved its goals. To analyze how the reform has worked and interacted with the economic and public spending conditions we analyze some of the most relevant evidences since the reform of '95, with particular reference to the distributive aspects of the system and the relationship with public spending. We first outline the main characteristics of the reform and analyze the distributive issues of the Italian pension system within a European framework for the period 1991-2012. Then, we analyze the evolution of the ratio between pension expenditure and public spending, trying to single out what was the weight of the pension system in the trends of Italian public finance. Finally, we disentangle the overall effect looking at the impact of the different determinants of pension expenditure by focusing in particular on early retirement and retirement age.