International Social Security Review International Social Security Review

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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With the creation of an online publications platform by the international publishing house Wiley, online access to articles published in the International Social Security Review  since 1967 is available to subscribers.

Consult a free sample issue of the International Social Security Review online, or visit Wiley Online Library to browse contents and abstracts of all issues. For further information on how to access the articles please visit Wiley's Librarian Site.

Abstracts (current issue: July-September 2017, Volume 70, Issue 3)


Nazim Habibov, Alex Cheung and Alena Auchynnikava

Does trust increase willingness to pay higher taxes to help the needy?

The article studies the causal effect of trust on the willingness to pay higher taxes to help the needy in a sample of 29 countries of Eastern and Southern Europe, and the former Soviet Union and Mongolia. It is hypothesized that interpersonal trust leads to a greater willingness to pay taxes to help the needy since (i) trust increases the likelihood of helping strangers; (ii) trust fosters solidarity and cooperation when working to solve common problems in society; and (iii) trust reduces suspicion with respect to the perceived misuse of redistributed money. Three key findings are that the more people trust each other, the more they are ready to support the welfare state; the effect of trust on welfare state support holds even in a contextual environment characterized by rather lower levels of trust and relatively underdeveloped systems of redistribution; and higher individual-level trust fosters tax morale and helps deter tax evasion.

Robert Holzmann

The ABCs of nonfinancial defined contribution (NDC) schemes

Nonfinancial defined contribution (NDC) pension schemes have been successfully implemented since the mid-1990s in a number of European countries such as Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Sweden. The NDC approach features the lifelong contribution–benefit link of a financial defined contribution (FDC) personal account scheme, but is based on the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) format. At its start out, the PAYG commitments of the preceding defined benefit (DB) system are converted into individual personal accounts, allowing for a smooth transition from the DB to the DC format, while avoiding the very high transition costs inherent in a move from a traditional PAYG DB scheme to a fully funded FDC scheme. The NDC approach implemented by the rule book is able to manage the economic and demographic risks inherent to a pension scheme and, by design, creates financial sustainability. As in any pension scheme, the linchpin between financial stability and adequacy is the retirement age; in the NDC approach the individual retirement age above the minimum age is by design self-selected and by incentives should increase the effective retirement age in line with population ageing. As a systemic reform approach NDC has become a strong competitor to piecemeal parametric reforms of traditional nonfinancial DB (NDB) schemes. While frequent, these reforms are far from transparent and usually too timid and too late to create financial sustainability while providing adequate pensions for the average contributor. This article offers a largely non-technical introduction to NDC schemes, their basic elements and advantages over NDB schemes, the key technical frontiers of the approach, and the experiences of NDC countries.

Juan M. Pérez-Salamero González , Manuel Ventura-Marco and Carlos Vidal-Meliá

A “Swedish” actuarial balance for a notional defined contribution pension scheme with disability and minimum pension benefits

This article proposes a “Swedish” type actuarial balance sheet (ABS) for a notional defined contribution (NDC) scheme with disability and minimum pension benefits. The proposed ABS splits the pension system in two parts: the pure NDC part and the redistributive part, which includes the assets and liabilities originating from non-contributory rights. The article contains a numerical example that sheds light on the real applicability of our proposal. The model has practical implications that could be of interest to policy-makers, given that it integrates actuarial and social aspects of public pensions and discloses the real cost of redistribution through minimum pensions.

Elisa Fornalé

Global–regional interaction to extend access to social protection for migrant workers: Insights from ASEAN and MERCOSUR

Universal access to social protection for migrant workers is emerging as a problematic issue in the implementation of free movement regimes at a regional level. This article focuses on the concept of regional governance as a possible mechanism to address the unsolved challenges of social security regimes to extend coverage. To this end, the article looks at current legal developments in two regional projects (ASEAN and MERCOSUR) to identify a creative approach to strengthen the development of national floors of social protection. The interest of using these case studies lies in exploring whether the regional integration process can play a major role in the progressive extension of social protection rights to migrant workers by facilitating the adoption of social security agreements.

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