This issue marks a significant change in Social Security Programs Throughout the World, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) first published 65 years ago. The report is now divided into a four-volume series and will be published at 6-month intervals over the next 2 years. Each volume will be dedicated to one of four geographic regions: Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.
The information contained in these volumes is crucial to our efforts, and those of researchers in other countries, to review different ways of approaching social security challenges that will enable us to adapt our social security systems to the evolving needs of individuals, households, and families. These efforts are particularly important as each nation faces major demographic changes, especially the increasing number of aged, as well as economic and fiscal issues.
Social Security Programs Throughout the World is the product of a cooperative effort between SSA and the International Social Security Association (ISSA). Founded in 1927, the ISSA is a nonprofit organization bringing together institutions and administrative bodies from countries throughout the world. The ISSA deals with all forms of compulsory social protection that by legislation or national practice are an integral part of the countries social security systems.
For the first time, the research and writing has been contracted out to the ISSA. The ISSA has conducted the research largely through its numerous country-based correspondents, as well as its Social Security Worldwide Database and a myriad of other types of data that must be drawn together to update this report. Members of the ISSA's Information System and Databases Unit analyzed the information and revised the publication to reflect detailed changes to each social security program. Social Security Programs Throughout the World is based on information available to the ISSA and SSA with regard to legislation in effect at the beginning of 2002, or the last date for which information has been received.
SSA staff members were responsible for technical and editorial assistance and production. Barbara Kritzer served as technical consultant and provided overall project management, and Alexander Estrin was responsible for specific aspects of the contractual process. Emil Loomis designed the report and, with assistance from Karyn Tucker and Karen Morris, produced it for publication. Sherry Snyder edited the report, with assistance from Celine Houget. Laurie Brown prepared the Web versions of this publication.
Acting Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics