Sustainaible Social Security

WP C.S.D.L.E. “Massimo D’Antona”.INT – 145/2018

This paper is forthcoming in Rivista del Diritto della Sicurezza Sociale (RDSS)

The paper analyses recent developments in European social security with a special focus on pensions and unemployment benefits. Some reforms have adopted the DB schemes of pensions, others have changed to NDC schemes; both in pursuance of financial sustainability and to some extent at the expenses of social adequacy of the benefits.
More recently some countries have adopted different measures aimed at safeguarding pensions adequacy: indexation, extension of benefits to non standard workers, pension credits for career breaks, supplementary pension schemes, and finally different forms of minimum pensions aimed at supporting low income workers Different approaches have also been adopted in revising unemployment benefits. Some reforms have tightened the links between benefits and past work records. Others have introduced more promotional measures, extending the coverage of benefits to non standard workers and supporting with active labor policies the transition of unemployed to new jobs.
The results of these reforms have been uneven and insufficient to guarantee social security adequacy. These results show the insufficiency of insurance -based systems to combine financial with social sustainability. More radical reforms have been approved introducing or revising various forms of minimum income directed to support poor workers and families, usually combined with labor and training policies aimed at activating the beneficiaries; short of unconditional basic income.
The present transformations of the economy and of the labor markets require better coordination between labor markets and social security policies and between the institutions in order to safeguard the adequacy of the various provisions: minimum pensions, minimum income and minimum wages.

author(s): Treu, Tiziano
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