This first issue in the current four-volume series of Social Security Programs Throughout the World reports on the countries of Europe. The combined findings of this series, which also includes volumes on Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas, are published at six-month intervals over a two-year period. Each volume highlights features of social security programs in the particular region.
The information contained in these volumes is crucial to our efforts, and those of researchers in other countries, to review different ways of approaching social security challenges that will enable us to adapt our social security systems to the evolving needs of individuals, households, and families. These efforts are particularly important as each nation faces major demographic changes, especially the increasing number of aged persons, as well as economic and fiscal issues.
Social Security Programs Throughout the World is the product of a cooperative effort between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The ISSA is the principal international institution bringing together social security agencies and organizations around the world. Founded in 1927, the ISSA is located at the International Labour Office in Geneva.
Previous editions of this report, which date back to 1937, were issued as one volume and were prepared by SSA staff. With the introduction of the four-volume format in 2002, however, the research and writing has been contracted out to the ISSA. The ISSA has conducted the research largely through its numerous country-based correspondents, as well as its social security databases and other types of data that are drawn together to update this report. Social Security Programs Throughout the World is based on legislation in effect in January 2014, or the last date for which information has been received by SSA or ISSA.
Barbara Kritzer and John Jankowski managed the preparation of this report. Staff of the Division of Information Resources edited the report and prepared the print and web versions for publication.
Manuel de la Puente
Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics