While universal social security has existed for a long time in the Eurasia region, its countries now face some difficult decisions in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of schemes and prevent the shrinking of coverage due to growing informal employment. The ISSA is working with its members in the region to facilitate the exchange of experiences and promote good practices.
Historically there were resources available for social security developments such as the maternity capital programme in Russia and programmes of assistance to vulnerable groups. Today, social security is affected by fiscal constraints, leading to difficult parametric reforms. For instance, to meet the challenge of financial sustainability, the Russian government recently submitted a draft law to parliament proposing to raise the statutory pension age for men from 60 to 65 years and for women from 55 to 63 years.
Recently, the ISSA social security directors from the Eurasian region met in St. Petersburg to exchange on how to address the main challenges they are facing today. The meeting was hosted by the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, the introductory presentation was made by the ISSA Secretary General, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, on the 10 global challenges for social security. This provided a broader context for the discussions, placing the challenges in the region into a global context.
The social security directors exchanged views on potential avenues for strengthening the financing of social security, where special attention was given to the fight against tax havens and the need for large business and finance groups to pay their fair share in social insurance schemes. The participants also discussed global challenges for social security linked toyouth employment, chronic unemployment, new forms of work, technological developments and digitalization of the economy.
One of the main conclusions of the event was that reforms need to be balanced, in order to minimize possible negative consequences for citizens. Consulting and learning from other countries that have already undergone such processes can be a valuable resource.