The impacts of the crisis on social security administrations: A review of the findings of an ISSA survey


  • Thanks are extended to Roland Sigg and Ariel Pino, who provided valuable comments that helped develop this article.

Ian Orton, 4 route des Morillons, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. Email:


This article reviews the findings of a major survey conducted in 2009 by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) on the impacts of the financial and economic crisis on social security administrations. The findings reveal that a majority of administrations have been negatively affected in terms of diminished investment returns on social security funds and reduced contribution income and are challenged by increased expenditure on benefits. In spite of all this, the findings indicate that administrations have reacted to the challenges presented in often proactive and innovative ways. However, challenges still remain. In this regard, the most preoccupying include the possibility of a slow economic recovery involving a protracted labour market crisis and the constraints of depleted financial reserves and reduced fiscal latitude.