ILO Social Security Convention No.102

The Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), is the flagship of all ILO social security Conventions which establishes minimum standards for all nine branches of social security. These branches are:
  • medical care;
  • sickness benefit;
  • unemployment benefit;
  • old-age benefit;
  • employment injury benefit;
  • family benefit;
  • maternity benefit;
  • invalidity benefit; and
  • survivors' benefit.
While Convention No. 102 covers all branches, it requires that only three of these branches be ratified by Member states, which allows for the step-by-step extension of social security coverage by ratifying countries by offering flexibility in its application, depending on their socio-economic level.

The minimum objectives of the Convention relate, for all the nine branches, to the percentage of the population protected by social security schemes, the level of the minimum benefit to be secured to protected persons, as well as to the conditions for entitlement and period of entitlement to benefits. Convention No. 102 does not prescribe how to reach these objectives but leaves certain flexibility to the member state. They can be reached through:
  • universal schemes;
  • social insurance schemes with earnings related or flat rate components or both;
  • social assistance schemes.
Convention No.102 lays down that social security schemes be administered on a tripartite basis, which guarantees and strengthens social dialogue between Governments, employers and workers. Convention No.102 has been ratified by 43 ILO Member States with the most recent ratification by Albania, in 2006. A number of further countries have ratified the European Code of Social Security, which was modeled on Convention No. 102 but provides higher benefit levels.