Public finance, actuarial and statistical services

Many countries require neutral objective advice on strategic or managerial financial and fiscal questions or support in building up national capacities for sound financial design and management of social protection programmes. The ILO's Public Finance, Actuarial and Statistics Branch (ILO PFACTS) assists government agencies and autonomous social protection organisms to develop their own capacity for quantitative planning, and improve the management and governance of their social protection schemes. ILO PFACTS is a public sector advisory group for the exclusive use of national social protection agencies or social security schemes. It is a service that the ILO provides to its constituents. It is highly specialized in the actuarial, financial and fiscal questions of social protection. It is the consulting group with the longest and most extensive international experience in quantitative aspects of social security in the world.

In line with its mission and mandate, and in contrast to private sector actuarial consulting firms, the focus of ILO PFACTS is national capacity building. Because of the ILO’s tripartite structure, ILO PFACTS is in a position to provide services to workers' and employers' organizations, as well as to governments, with ensured impartiality. ILO PFACTS provides advice and assistance to constituents in the reform, planning and analysis of their social security systems based on actuarial valuations and national social budgeting exercises and on their social protection systems based on financial assessment of national Social Protection Floors. The process includes the participation of experts from national agencies and the collaboration with other international agencies.

Research and model development is also a current activity of ILO PFACTS. This activity aims to provide more comprehensive advice and assistance to constituents. Research is based on the improvement of long time used models and methodologies such as population projections, economic frame and pensions projections but also on the creation of new methodologies in order to respond to the increasing number of requests from member States for the financial assessment of national Social Protection Floors. In addition, inter-departmental collaborating on modelling issues is being enhanced with a view to integrate feed-back linkages between social protection, economic growth and employment. This research aims to demonstrate to national leaders and policy makers, the importance and benefits of having an adequate and extended social security system for the economic welfare of the country.

ILO PFACTS also participates in building national capacity through not only tailor-made training programmes but also through the provision of actuarial courses within the framework of university masters programmes at the University of Lausanne, Maastricht University and the University of Mauritius. Furthermore, ILO PFACTS works together with the ILO International Training Centre in Turin and with other international organizations in the delivery of courses and programmes.

ILO PFACTS services include:
  • actuarial valuations and peer reviews of national pension benefits, health care benefits, short-term benefits and unemployment benefits systems;
  • comprehensive financial, fiscal and economic analyses of social security reform proposals;
  • analyses of national social budgets and financial, fiscal and poverty and assessment of social protection floors;
  • country-level technical cooperation on governance, financial and actuarial issues relevant to the ILO’s social security mandate;
  • research on financial and actuarial issues, including methodologies and development of quantitative projection models;
  • capacity building on financial and actuarial issues.

Resources and tools

  1. Financing social protection

    Designing social protection systems that are effective and equitable as well as fiscally, financially and economically efficient has been a challenge for many countries. Offers a comprehensive overview of the many financing options available while also provides a thorough analysis of their advantages and disadvantages and their financial and economic implications. The most important task of social protection systems is to alleviate and prevent poverty. The book presents a "methodological toolbox" from which social protection planners, managers and social policy analysts can work.

  2. Actuarial practice in social security

    Presents technical material on valuation covering a wide-range of risks including old age, survivors, disability, sickness, maternity, employment injury, and unemployment. Provides concrete examples of work done by actuaries. It discusses the valuation of pensions, short-term cash benefits like sickness, maternity and unemployment insurance and examines the valuation of employment injury benefits as well. In addition, the book devotes special attention to what should be included in the actuarial report and presents a practical exercise to illustrate the important points discussed in the volume.

  3. Actuarial mathematics of social security pensions

    Aims at establishing a link between social security financing methods and occupational pension funding methods.

  4. Modelling in health care finance. A compendium of quantitative techniques for health care financing

    This unique book provides a solid understanding of the basics of modelling and assists health care professionals in grasping its uses in the policy-making process. A valuable guidebook for health system and health insurance managers alike, this volume offers the quantitative and analytic tools needed for sound resource allocation and financial governance of health systems. It creates synergies and bridges gaps between quantitative health economics, health financing and actuarial science while presenting methods for improving the efficiency, and lowering the costs, of current health systems. A joint technical publication of the ILO and the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

  5. Social budgeting

    The first part of the book provides guidance for designing a social accounting system. The second part shows how the relationships between the economy and the social protection system can be translated into a quantitative model which permits projections and simulations to be carried out. Includes two concrete country applications.