The ISSA Liaison Office for the Southern Cone of the Americas promotes regional social security cooperation and networking, and supports the ISSA by promoting the Association’s products and services, organizing events, and facilitating the exchange of good practices among social security institutions in the region.
Acting as a channel of communication between the region and the ISSA General Secretariat, the Liaison Office for the Southern Cone of the Americas gathers information on the interests and needs specific to the region and collaborates in the design of a tailored capacity-building programme for these countries.
In a region of 281 million people, predictions indicate that by 2050 about 20% of the population will be 65 and older. Given that almost 50% of the economically active population works in the informal sector, social security in these countries faces many present and future challenges.
As far as the coverage provided by the contributory schemes is concerned, informality and unemployment have an impact on the collection side and on the benefit side. Workers in the informal sector and their families might have a limited access to health benefits and, given the lack of contributions during a number of years, end up with a smaller pension at retirement.
Reforms are being implemented or discussed in the pension systems of the region. These reforms aim at the improvement of the financial stability of the systems, at increased redistribution and at better benefit delivery. A large majority of the older adults receive a modest pension income that cannot satisfy their financial needs for daily live in the case a sickness or simple external care.
Steps have been taken to expand access to social protection but ensuring universal access requires integrating the contributory and non-contributory components, which means overcoming major challenges in terms of institutional design and financing, among other areas.