First published in 1948, the International Social Security Review is the principal international quarterly publication in the field of social security.
Articles by leading social security experts present international comparisons and in-depth discussions of topical questions and studies of social security systems in different countries.
ISSA member organizations can freely access the complete current issue of the Review in English and previous issues in the electronic archive (since 1967 for articles published in English; for 2007-2013 for articles published in French, German and Spanish) via My ISSA.
Commencing in 2014, the International Social Security Review is published in English only, and abstracts of all new articles are available in eight languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
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Abstracts (current issue: January-March 2017, Volume 70, Issue 1)
The social security number: A small device underpinning big systems
The possession and use of a personal social security number helps to structure people’s daily lives. However, despite its fundamental normative importance, the social security number remains a little-known entity. Increasingly universal and yet diverse in form, it is a legal and technical norm which is as much a mechanism for surveillance and monitoring as it is a necessary instrument for giving effect to social rights. Analysis of this constituent element of social security systems permits as assessment of some of the technical difficulties presented by the ever-increasing movement of people and data. Overcoming these technical difficulties should permit to envisage a first technical step towards realizing a universal and global social security system.
Survivors’ pensions and their impact on the Brazilian labour market
In many countries the regulations governing survivors’ pensions were established in periods when female labour market participation was lower than at present. However, the current trend in many Latin American countries is for growing levels of female labour participation. In Brazil, where there are no restrictions on the concurrent receipt of retirement and survivors’ pensions, and where until recently lifelong pensions could be obtained without any conditionality, not only has the accumulation of such benefits grown, but there are indications that these rules have had a negative impact on women’s labour market participation. Analysis of the case of Brazil shows the need for social security regulations to adapt to labour market changes, and underlines the need to acknowledge that social security regulations can actually have an impact on the labour market.
The evolution of the Georgian social protection system since independence: An unclear future despite recent expansion
In the first decade of transition, the Georgian social protection system experienced a major retrenchment as the government struggled to finance welfare provision in the face of massive economic contraction and the near collapse of public institutions. Since 2004, this trend has been reversed, with the economy returning to a fast growth path and public administration improving considerably. Recent reforms, including the notable introduction of universal public health insurance, are welcome steps towards building a modern welfare state. Major challenges still remain, however, especially in relation to the system’s limited effect on widespread poverty. Decelerating growth, the lack of strong pro-welfare actors, and the absence of positive external pull factors may stall or prevent future growth, but the changing nature of the social contract between the people and government, as well as Georgian politicians’ growing recognition of the importance of the welfare system for inclusive growth, leaves ample space for optimism.
The challenge of pension reform in Georgia: Non-contributory pensions and elderly poverty
Georgia’s national social security system offers almost complete non-contributory basic pension coverage. The basic pension has, to date, proved effective in dealing with poverty. But Georgia’s fiscal constraints and ageing population also highlight the importance of improving the pension system, in order to ensure its sustainability. This article presents policy reform choices, which suggest that, in Georgia, pension reform might include increasing the statutory retirement ages and reducing the generosity of benefits through means testing. The case of the Georgian non-contributory basic pension might hold value for some low- and middle-income countries that are considering the implementation of, or expanding coverage under, a non-contributory pension programme.