The ILO provides technical support to Member States through the process of formulation, development, implementation and evaluation of social protection policies in the area of pensions. To achieve this, the ILO has a series of quantitative tools that form part of the Quantitative Platform on Social Security (QPSS), including the ILO/PENSIONS actuarial model, which aims to assess the expected financial impact of the introduction of changes to pension systems, especially old-age pensions. The main objective of this tool is to support the design and costing of pension reforms.
A critical issue for the ILO is that actuarial work and its linkage to policy design should be framed within international social security standards as well as comparative best practices. The ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), which served as the blueprint for the development of social security worldwide, states that the periodic realization of actuarial studies and calculations is the main way the State can assume its general responsibility for the due provision of social security benefits. In particular, Article 71.3 of Convention No. 102 states that: “The Member shall accept general responsibility for the due provision of the benefits provided in compliance with this Convention, and shall take all measures required for this purpose; it shall ensure, where appropriate, that the necessary actuarial studies and calculations concerning financial equilibrium are made periodically and, in any event, prior to any change in benefits, the rate of insurance contributions, or the taxes allocated to covering the contingencies in question.” In this context, the technical assistance provided by the ILO at the country level will be informed by the guiding principles embedded in international ILO standards, with an emphasis on the design of sustainable and universal pension systems, based on collective financing, combining contributory and non-contributory components, and ensuring predictable benefits guaranteed by law.
According to the ISSA-ILO Actuarial Guidelines, actuarial work should be adequately linked to national and institutional needs to undertake reforms and improve systems, both in the design of the schemes and managing institutions and in the building of institutional capacities. Based on its experience of several decades, the ILO developed an intervention model for the actuarial field that covers three main processes: national or institutional diagnostic, capacity building and technical support.