Decent Work Indicators for Social Security

Social security covers all measures that provide benefits, whether in cash or in kind, to secure protection, from (a) lack of work-related income (or insufficient income) caused by sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury, unemployment, old age, or death of a family member; (b) lack of access or unaffordable access to health care; (c) insufficient family support, particularly for children and adult dependants; (d) general poverty and social exclusion.

The ILO has introduced ten Decent Work Indicators for social security to monitor progress made by countries in extending coverage, some of these indicators are yet to be developed.
Statistical Decent Work Indicators Concepts Coverage Preferred data source
Indicators developed
SECU-1. Share of population above the statutory retirement age (aged 65 or above) benefiting from an old-age pension – (M) Old-age pension Beneficiary Population above the statutory retirement age or aged 65+ Administrative records Household surveys Population Census
SECU-2. Public social security expenditure (percentage of GDP) – (M) Annual public social security expenditure n/a National accounts Social security scheme
SECU-3. Health expenditure not financed out of pocket by private households – (A) Healthcare costs Out-of-pocket spending by private households All Households National health account Demographic health survey
SECU-4. Share of economically active population contributing to a pension scheme – (A) Persons protected or affiliated Active contributors Labour force Employed and unemployed persons Administrative data Household surveys
Indicators to be developed by the ILO (future indicators)
SECU-5 (F) Share of eligible population covered by (basic) health care provision n/a n/a n/a
SECU-6 (F) Public expenditure on needs-based cash income support (% of GDP) n/a n/a n/a
SECU-7 (F) Beneficiaries of cash income support (% of the poor) n/a n/a n/a
SECU-8 (F) Sick leave n/a n/a n/a
SECU-9 (F) Share of unemployed receiving regular periodic social security unemployment benefits n/a n/a n/a
SECU-10 (F) Ratio of average old-age pension received to minimum wage n/a n/a n/a
Legal Framework Indicator:
L16 – Pension (public/private)
L17 – Incapacity for work due to sickness/sick leave (Income replacement in case of sickness/sick leave)
L18 – Incapacity for work due to invalidity (Income replacement in case of non-occupational invalidity)

Read more on Decent Work Social Security Indicators: Decent Work Indicators – Concepts and definitions

Social security indicators for each of the four Social Protection Floor guarantees

The Social Protection Department is working on the development of a package of indicators to measure progress regarding efforts made by countries to implement the basic guarantees promoted by the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202). A preliminary set of possible indicators is:

1. Access to essential health care
  •  Health expenditure not financed out of pocket by private households
  • Multiple dimensions of health coverage by income level
  • Theoretical coverage gap due to health professional staff deficit by level of income at the national level
 2. Children
  • Family/child allowances – Existence of statutory social security provisions and sources of financing by HDI, income level groups and region (percentage of countries) 2009
  • Family/child protection benefit: Convention No. 102 benchmark
  • Percentage of children receiving cash periodic benefits in selected countries
  • Percentage of poor children receiving child benefits in selected countries
 3. Working age
  • Unemployment protection schemes: Statutory extent of coverage worldwide as a percentage of the economically active population
  • Regional estimates: unemployed who actually receive benefits
  • Employment injury: extent of statutory coverage as a percentage of economically active population
 4. Old age
  • Share of population above the statutory retirement age benefiting from an old-age pension
  • Old age demographic protection ratio (contributors)
  • Old age to economically active protection ratio (contributors)
Additional indicators
  •  Public social security expenditure (percentage of GDP) by region, weighted by population, latest available year

Read more on Social Protection Floor indicators