Media Monitor


Media Monitor

The Social Security Monitor offers a selection of social security news and analysis from media and other sources around the world. External sites will open in a new window. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the ISSA is not responsible for the content of external sites.


16 March 2023
China to raise retirement age to deal with aging population (14.03.2023) China is planning to raise its retirement age gradually and in phases to cope with the country’s rapidly aging population, the state-backed Global Times said on Tuesday, citing a senior expert from China’s Ministry of Human Resources. Jin Weigang, president of the Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security Sciences, said China was eyeing a “progressive, flexible and differentiated path to raising the retirement age”, meaning that it would be delayed initially by a few months, which would be subsequently increased. “People nearing retirement age will only have to delay retirement for several months,” the Global Times said, citing Jin. Young people may have to work a few years longer but will have a long adaptation and transition period, he said.

6 March 2023
China’s big dilemma: What to do about an aging nation

The Japan Times (05.03.2023) China’s population decline, which the Chinese government officially confirmed in January, has led many observers to wonder if the country’s current demographic trends threaten its stability.

10 February 2023
China to offer free fertility treatment in bid to boost record low birth rate

Pension Policy International (08.02.2023) China is planning to offer free fertility treatment to citizens under its national insurance scheme in a bid to reverse its plummeting birth rate. The National Healthcare Security Administration said on Friday it would extend its coverage to help shoulder the costs for families trying to conceive. It said the new coverage would include assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques and also cover labor analgesia to ease pain in childbirth. The most commonly performed ART procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF). The administration described China’s falling population as one of the biggest obstacles to national development and stressed it had already added ovulation-inducing drugs to its coverage, to help “reduce the burden of infertility.” The expanded coverage is part of a wider attempt by Chinese authorities to persuade more people to get married and have more children. The country’s birthrate has been falling for years and last year the country recorded its first population decline in more than 60 years.

6 February 2023
First G-20 Employment Working Group concludes in Jodhpur

Indiablooms (04.02.2023) The 1st G-20 Employment Working Group concluded in Jodhpur today on a positive note with all G20 countries showing interest and commitment in constructively working towards the objective of the three priority areas of Addressing Global Skills Gaps, Gig & platform economy & social protection and Sustainable Financing of Social Security set by the Indian Presidency.

31 January 2023
G20 India | 1st Employment Working Group Meeting to focus on balanced and job-rich growth for all |

G20 member nations consist of 2/3rd of the global population with 80% of global economic output. In this context, deliberation on the enhancement of labour holds significant relevancy. The 1st Employment Working Group (EWG)Meeting under the Sherpa track of the G20 will be held from the 2nd to the 4th of February 2023 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The Indian presidency of G20 has a mandate of addressing priority labour, employment and social issues for strong, sustainable, balanced, and job-rich growth for all.

30 January 2023
Drawing lessons from China’s healthcare development

East Asia Forum (18.01.2023) China has translated its economic development into improved social welfare. China’s quest for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all while lifting 800 million people out of poverty is an example. Its experience in healthcare development provides transferrable lessons for developing countries in making progress towards UHC.

14 November 2022
India: From digitisation to platformisation — how social protection schemes can be made more accessible (31.11.2022) Social Protection Open Digital Ecosystems (SP-ODEs) can provide beneficiaries, government and service providers a unified, digital platform to better access welfare schemes.

10 October 2022
Access to Welfare in the Digital Economy in BRICS Countries (22.09.2022) Many governments now use digital technology for means testing. For instance, the US uses an Income Eligibility Verification System that links several databases to verify beneficiary income. It also uses a Prisoner Verification System linked to prisoners’ databases to exclude prisoners from benefits. In Sweden, municipal personal social services use Robot Process Automation to make some decisions about eligibility.  Automated means testing and other automation of welfare have been on the rise in BRICS countries, helmed in particular by digital identity systems. The following paragraphs take a look at each BRICS country’s digital ID system and its relation to welfare.

19 September 2022
Transparency, exclusion and mediation: how digital and biometric technologies are transforming social protection in Tamil Nadu, India (31.03.2021) What are the effects of biometric and digital technologies on social protection for the poor in India? Drawing on ethnographic research from rural Tamil Nadu, this paper presents evidence of how new technologies are experienced by beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS), and analyses the impacts of technology innovations on transparency, exclusion and mediation. The authors focus on the implementation of ‘smartcards,’ new digitised and Aadhaar-enabled ration cards, introduced in ration shops across Tamil Nadu in 2017. They first document how digitised smartcards and mobile text messages transform transparency for beneficiaries by introducing new opacities and information gaps. They then demonstrate how a lack of transparency (re)produces forms of exclusion that remain a challenge under the automated PDS. Finally, the paper highlights how novel forms of kin and non-kin mediation play a mitigating role in accessing PDS, and constitute a vital part of the infrastructure underpinning social welfare delivery.

29 August 2022
India: e-shram: Labour ministry forms committee on sharing of data of unorganised workers

The Economic Times (26.08.2022) The government plans to integrate e-Shram portal with state portal for onboarding social security schemes run by the central government and the state governments to universalize social protection to workers and to improve employment opportunities for them.

23 June 2022
Can Digital G2P Transfers Drive Financial Inclusion and Digital Payments? Evidence from India

Center for Global Development (09.06.2022) Does channeling government-to-person (G2P) payments through bank accounts encourage financial inclusion and use? This paper explores the factors that have driven the adoption of digital payments in India by beneficiaries of PMGKY, the large-scale COVID-19 relief program launched in May 2020. India’s 2013 move to pay social benefits through direct transfers into bank accounts significantly increased account ownership, but uptake of digital payments has been slower, although it has accelerated more recently through smartphone-based apps.

20 June 2022
India. Government to launch AI-driven portal for distributing pension payments

Pension Policy International  (16.06.2022) In order to seamlessly process, track and disburse pensions, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare will soon launch an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled the common portal for the benefit of pensioners and elderly citizens. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the AI-supported portal, ‘Bhavishya’, will send automatic alerts to pensioners and superannuated senior citizens, including retired paramilitary personnel.

24 May 2022
China: New voluntary personal pension system announced (19.05.2022)  Trial private retirement savings system to be rolled out in select cities in China in an effort to support an aging population.

20 May 2022
China to implement private pension system with a contribution cap of about $1,800 a year: report

Global Times (21.04.2022) China will soon start a new era of "private pensions" with the imminent implementation of a relevant mechanism, according to a report by the Shanghai Securities News published on Wednesday. The new mechanism, which is characterized by policy support from the government, voluntary participation and market-oriented operations, will be an important transformation of the current pension system that has a basic pension insurance and a corporate pension. According to the report, those who contribute to the basic pension insurance for workers in cities and towns, as well as in the life insurance system for urban and rural residents can participate in the private pension system.

19 May 2022
How to make active aging an integral part of economic growth in China

World Economic Forum  (17.05.2022) China is a rapidly graying country with those aged 60 or above reaching 267 million or 18.9% of the total population, and this may rise to one-third of the population before 2050. Welfare reform must work in tandem with social policy so as to make active aging an integral part of economic growth, linking health to wealth and common prosperity. Healthcare, labour reskilling and gender parity are three areas of focus for domestic policy to solve the challenges of China’s aging population.

22 March 2022
Does workfare work? India's employment guarantee during COVID‐19

Journal of International Development (nov 2021) As many other countries, India leverages on a pre-existingworkfare programme as a COVID-19 response. We com-bine monthly administrative data with migration and pov-erty statistics and provide four insights on the recent expansion of the programme. First, poorer districts includemore households, that is, increasing extensive margin. Sec-ond, in districts with a high proportion of return migrants,there is no increase, and third, unmet demand for work is higher than the national average of 22.7%. Fourth, despite the expansion, the programme provided just 13.5 days per rural household. The programme requires attention to fulfilits promise as a credible safety net.

10 March 2022
Social Protection in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from South Africa

Center For Global Development (16.02.2022) South Africa responded to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown using a combination of existing social protection programmes, unemployment insurance, and additional measures to support those most affected. This paper reviews policies and implementation with the objective of highlighting lessons for the global community, including on the use of digital mechanisms. The government adopted a two-pronged and largely cash-based approach: unemployment benefits for formal sector workers and cash transfers to vulnerable individuals, informal workers, and beneficiaries of existing grants. Top-up payments for existing grants were rolled out efficiently; the new Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant posed challenges but ultimately succeeded in reaching over six million previously uncovered beneficiaries. It may even become a permanent feature of South Africa’s social protection system.

3 March 2022
China: New employer-paid childcare leave entitlements

 WTW (28.02.2022) Provincial and municipal governments throughout China are extending parental and childcare leave to encourage more births.

1 March 2022
China releases 5-year plan for elderly care services

Xinhua (21.02.2022) China's State Council has released a plan for the development of the country's elderly care services system during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), in its latest step to implement a national strategy to address population aging. The plan specifies major goals and tasks for the five-year period, including expanding the supply of elderly care services, improving the health support mechanism for the elderly, and advancing the innovative and integrated development of service models.

28 February 2022
How did China adopt social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic so quickly?

International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (10.02.2022) The COVID-19 epidemic broke out in Wuhan, capital of the Hubei Province in China in early 2020. This One Pager discusses factors that enabled the country to support affected groups in a timely manner and how this experience could inform social protection expansion efforts elsewhere.