Closing the coverage gap
Social security is a human right. It helps make improvements on socio-economic issues and strengthens society as a result. More people than ever have access to it, and we are seeing a considerable drop in extreme poverty. But important challenges remain.
Extending coverage is a priority for all nations. This is clear in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and in the ILO's promotion of national floors for social protection.
Many fall through the gap
Policy-makers and social security administrations must reach the groups most affected by access inequalities. They are:
- the self-employed
- rural workers
- those active in the informal economy
Barriers to access are multiple
Efforts to extend coverage can be held back by:
- the health and development of the national economy
- political instability
- the maturity and legal scope of a social security system
- the nature of the labour market
- the size of traditional or rural economies compared to the formal, wage-based economy
- the effectiveness of the tax system and contribution collections
- levels of urbanisation
Success relies on taking a joined-up approach
Contributions and tax financing must be coordinated in a longer-term strategy. And contributions need to be paid regularly, if benefits are to be adequate and reach more people.. Strong institutions are needed to enforce the process.
Attitudes must change too
It is vital to understand the motivation that lead workers to choose to contribute. And to combine this with a strategy that promotes a ‘social security culture’.
GLOBAL SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGEPercentage of the world’s population with access to social security benefits
Governments and administrations are leading the way
Governments have to decide on the kind of society they want to build. But it will not happen unless there is appropriate investment in administrative capacity, infrastructure, technology and people.
Innovating to enable access
From one-stop shops to mobile cash transfers, there are more ways than ever to access protection. Administrations are developing new ways to finance benefits too.
ISSA Guidelines and Publications
GuidelinesContribution Collection and Compliance Guidelines
Administrative Solutions for Coverage Extension Guidelines
Communications by Social Security Administrations Guidelines
PublicationsHandbook on the extension of social security coverage to migrant workers
Handbook to the extension of social security coverage to the self-employed
Social security coverage extension in the BRICS
ISSA Adequacy Project: User Manual for Retirement Adequacy Manual
The megatrends reports
TC CCC Report on Error, Evasion and Fraud
TOWARDS UNIVERSAL SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGEStatutory provision of social security programmes (1950)
TOWARDS UNIVERSAL SOCIAL SECURITY COVERAGEStatutory provision of social security programmes (2014)
COVERAGE EXTENSION IS POSSIBLE
PRIORITIES OF ISSA MEMBERSMember institutions that consider extension of coverage to be a priority challenge
- Africa 87%
- Americas 52%
- Europe 30%
- Asia and Pacific 55%
Better service delivery is an enabler for better levels of coverage