Old-Age Security: Social and Financial Trends

Old-Age Security: Social and Financial Trends

Old-Age Security: Social and Financial Trends

Old-Age Security: Social and Financial Trends

Excerpt

This study was undertaken as a result of the opinion of the Committee on Social Security that an analysis of the methods or devices that have been adopted by selected foreign countries in dealing with the financial problems of contributory old-age insurance and in providing various types of non-contributory old‐ age assistance or pensions or relief would throw much light upon parallel problems in the United States. As the study progressed it was found, however, that the financial principles and trends could be interpreted adequately only after an examination of the history of the statutory measures and social purposes which had determined their evolution.

In the end, therefore, this study necessarily involved an effort to describe and evaluate the economic and social factors affecting the financing of old-age security programs. Historical background has been subordinated as much as possible, but specific problems have been given concreteness by detailed illustrations drawn from those countries whose programs seemed to be of especial interest for the United States. The treatment of individual countries is intentionally selective; for instance, no attempt was made to discuss the specialized considerations presented by the existence of separate insurance plans for salaried employees in countries such as Germany.

In spite of the extension of its original scope, financial considerations remain the primary concern of the present report. Fuller treatment of the theoretical issues involved in old-age programs generally, and particularly of the advantages or disadvantages of contributory insurance systems and of non-contributory assistance measures will be found in the various reports of the International Labour Office and in the other literature cited in the text. The inter-relationships of old-age security and other types of social insurance and relief are treated very briefly; a fuller account is available in C. A. Kulp's Social Insurance Coordination: An Analysis of German and British Organization , published by the Committee on Social Security in 1938.

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