Priority extension challenges
The challenges related to the extension of coverage are often specific to the socio-economic situation of a country and the institutional structure of its existing social security system. In line with the priorities of its membership, the ISSA centres its strategy on actions for social security institutions to develop solutions for the following priority challenges:
Extension of health-care coverage
Timely access to quality and affordable health care is a key social security priority for ISSA member institutions. It improves individual well-being, contributes to social and economic development and has a high potential in preventing poverty.
Extension of coverage by old-age, invalidity and survivors’ pension schemes
The issue of closing the pension coverage gap has become a central concern among national policy-makers and multilateral institutions. Compulsory schemes often cover less then 25 per cent of the labour force in low-income countries and between 25 and 50 per cent in middle-income countries.
Administration of tax-financed minimum benefit schemes
High-income countries have generally implemented universal basic social protection schemes. To reduce poverty and give immediate access to a basic level of protection, many middle-income countries and a growing number of low-income countries are establishing, or are considering to establish, non-contributory conditional or non-conditional cash transfer schemes for basic income, pension and child benefit schemes.
Extension of coverage by unemployment schemes
Unemployment benefits constitute a key element in any comprehensive social security system. Coupled to the issue of active employment policies, the extension of unemployment insurance is a key investment in both social and economic stability and human capital development.
Establishment and extension of insurance for long-term care
In addition to the general demographic ageing of many populations, the population aged 80 years or over is growing more rapidly than other segments of the older population in most countries. As the financial consequences of the need for care can be substantial for individuals and societies, the establishment or extension of long-term care schemes is an important priority.
Providing access to adequate social security coverage for migrant workers
While migratory flows have increased in the globalized economy, many migrants, and in particular women, are not covered in either their country of employment or their country of origin. Identifying solutions to extending coverage to migrant workers is therefore crucial and will benefit a highly vulnerable group of the world population.
Compliance and contribution collection
Wide population coverage cannot be achieved without appropriate and functioning contribution collection systems, which includes compliance and enforcement. Non-compliance and evasion have serious consequences for the level of protection of scheme members as well as the financial and social legitimacy of social security schemes.
Advocate for the extension of social security coverage at the national political level
In many countries, the development of social security is gaining increasing importance on government agendas, and not least the economic and financial crisis has once again confirmed the importance of social security. In this context, social security institutions have a high potential to advocate for coverage extension at the national political level and to offer their expertise and experience in the policy-making process leading to more effective social security measures and extension outcomes.
The importance of partnerships at the international level
There are a number of international organizations that work towards the extension of social security coverage. First and foremost, the International Labour Office (ILO) has developed the concept of a basic social floor as the way ahead. In the implementation of its strategy, the ISSA will therefore collaborate with international partners and in particular seek to link to and support the activities of the ILO on extension of social protection.