Status and Progress in Cross-Border Portability of Social Security Benefits

27 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018

See all articles by Robert Holzmann

Robert Holzmann

University of Malaya; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); World Bank

Jacques Wels

University of Cambridge

Abstract

The importance of cross-border portability of social benefits is increasing in parallel with the rise in the absolute number of international migrants and their share of the world population, and perhaps more importantly, with the rising share of world population that for some part of their life is working and/or retiring abroad. This paper estimates how the rising stock of migrants is distributed over four key portability regimes: those with portability through bilateral social security arrangements (regime I); those with potential exportability of eligible benefits from abroad (regime II); documented workers with no access to national schemes but no contribution payment either (regime III); and undocumented workers with no access to any scheme (regime IV). Estimates for 2000 and 2013 are compared.The results indicate a modest but noticeable increase in the share of migrants under regime I, from 21.9 percent in 2000 to 23.3 percent in 2013. The biggest change occurred under regime III, which almost doubled to 9.4 percent. Regime II reduced by 3.0 percentage points but remains the dominant scheme (at 53.2 percent). The estimates suggest that the scope of regime IV (informality) reduced by 2.9 percentage points, accounting for 14.0 of all migrants in 2013. This trend is positive, but more will need to be done to progress on benefit portability.

Keywords: labor mobility, retirement mobility, portability regimes, bilateral social security agreements, social benefits

JEL Classification: D69, H55, I19, J62

Suggested Citation

Holzmann, Robert and Wels, Jacques, Status and Progress in Cross-Border Portability of Social Security Benefits. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11481, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3170270

Robert Holzmann (Contact Author)

University of Malaya ( email )

University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603
Malaysia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Jacques Wels

University of Cambridge

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

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