Globalisation, digitalisation, and demographic and climate change are transforming the way economies and societies work. These transformations provide new opportunities for growth, but they also raise the risk of increasing numbers of people working in unstable, temporary and part-time work, often with low and intermittent earnings. What do these trends mean for workers’ social protection? Most social protection systems were built on the premise of stable, linear careers, often with only one employer. Work patterns deviating from this model risk falling through the cracks. All branches of social protection are challenged by changes in the world of work, but one stands out in particular due to its long-term impact: the provision of old-age security. Pension entitlements build up over the working life and continuous contributions are key to reaching adequate levels. Countries have long recognised this; they have therefore established mandatory pension systems and are encouraging participation in voluntary occupational and personal pension plans. But ensuring pension coverage for non-standard workers is not easy, in particular for the self-employed. The lecture will discuss how OECD countries are addressing this challenge and show how their policies are affecting non-standard workers’ pension entitlements.
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