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Portability of pension, health, and other social benefits : facts, concepts, issues

  • Holzmann, Robert
  • Koettl, Johannes

Portability of social benefits across professions and countries is an increasing concern for individuals and policy makers. Lacking or incomplete transfers of acquired social rights are feared to negatively impact individual labor market decisions as well as capacity to address social risks with consequences for economic and social outcomes. The paper gives a fresh and provocative look on the international perspective of the topic that has so far been dominated by social policy lawyers working within the framework of bilateral agreements; the input by economists has been very limited. It offers an analytical framework for portability analysis that suggests separating the risk pooling, (implicit or actual) pre-funding and redistributive elements in the benefit designand explores the proposed alternative approach for pensions and health care benefits. This promising approach may serve both as a substitute and complement to bi- and multilateral agreements.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 62725.

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Date of creation: 11 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:62725
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  1. Kirdar, Murat G., 2008. "Estimating the impact of immigrants on the host country social security system when return migration is an endogenous choice," MPRA Paper 7803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Forteza, Alvaro, 2008. "The portability of pension rights : general principals and the Caribbean case," Social Protection Discussion Papers 46188, The World Bank.
  3. Holzmann, Robert & Koettl, Johannes & Chernetsky, Taras, 2005. "Portability regimes of pension and health care benefits for international migrants: an analysis of issues and good practices," Social Protection Discussion Papers 32750, The World Bank.
  4. Salvador Valdés-Prieto, 2005. "Securitization of taxes implicit in PAYG pensions," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 215-265, 04.
  5. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
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  7. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
  8. Robalino, David A. & Bodor, Andras, 2006. "On the financial sustainability of earnings-related pension schemes with"pay-as-you-go"financing and the role of government indexed bonds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3966, The World Bank.
  9. Fenge, Robert & Von Weizsäcker, Jakob, 2010. "Public pension systems and distortions of intra-EU mobility: the Lodge Test," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 263-275, April.
  10. Wei Sun & Anthony Webb & Natalia Zhivan, 2009. "Does Staying Healthy Reduce Your Lifetime Health Care Costs?," Issues in Brief ib2010-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2009.
  11. Werding, Martin & McLennan, Stuart, 2011. "International portability of health-cost coverage : concepts and experience," Social Protection Discussion Papers 63929, The World Bank.
  12. Emma Aguila & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2009. "Labor Market and Immigration Behavior of Middle-Aged and Elderly Mexicans," Working Papers 726, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  13. Avato, Johanna & Koettl, Johannes & Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel, 2009. "Definitions, good practices, and global estimates on the status of social protection for international migrants," Social Protection Discussion Papers 49172, The World Bank.
  14. Bonin, Holger & Eichhorst, Werner & Florman, Christer & Hansen, Mette Okkels & Skiöld, Lena & Stuhler, Jan & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & Thomasen, Henrik & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Report No. 19: Geographic Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Economic and Social Benefits," IZA Research Reports 19, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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