Megatrends

Megatrends and social security

Social security systems can anticipate and influence global trends affecting societies and economies

Demographic changes

Increases in life expectancy and falls in birth rates are likely to continue in most world regions, but this general trend will hide a much greater variation in the underlying demographic environment, and raises significant questions for social security systems.

Growing inequality in mortality – with higher social classes living longer and in better health while those in lower socio-economic groups see a stagnation or fall in life expectancy – will continue. Is healthy life expectancy increasing at the same rate as life expectancy? What are the policy and administrative responses to later child birth? And how can social security adapt to those whose mortality and morbidity is not improving while at the same ensuring retirement and medical systems are sustainable given overall life expectancy improvements?

The ISSA is also looking at future changes to health and the potential impacts on social security systems. The shift in disability cases from primarily treating physical impairments to mental ill-health in many countries will continue. Increasing numbers of young and female cases will need more tailored approaches, with a greater emphasis on proactive measures. At the same time, the increased incidence of non-communicable diseases – particularly costly for society because of direct and indirect expense – raises specific challenges for social security institutions.

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