In recent decades, the social security system in Uruguay has experienced a series of social reforms, focusing primarily on the provision of protection to more vulnerable segments of the population. The reforms carried out had as primary result the creation of a social protection system where universal policies co-exist with targeted policies aimed primarily at lower-income population, providing e benefits to the population against contingencies throughout the lifecycle.
Uruguay stands out in the region for having a comprehensive social protection system. It initially covered old age risks, but gradually, especially during the twentieth century, its coverage was expanded to other contingencies. Currently, according to statistics provided by the Social Insurance Bank, the social protection system covers 77% of the economically active population and 97% of adults over 65 years old receive a pension.
The main challenges for Uruguay in terms of the social protection system are, on the one hand, to achieve a greater articulation of the benefits offered by the social protection system to people at different stages of life and, on the other hand, to increase social protection coverage to the entire population and especially to those in greatest vulnerability, improving inter-generational equity and promoting social justice and economic development. To achieve this, the momentum of a Social Protection Floor can be crucial.
In addition, it should be mentioned the social security education programme implemented in the country since 2007. This programme aims to educate the population, mainly children and adolescents, on their rights and responsibilities in terms of social protection.