Annual Symposium

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Shine Dome, Canberra

Social Insurance for the 21st Century?

Exploring pathways for a sustainable, equitable and effective welfare system

Many countries have  had social  insurance  schemes for more than  a century. The first compulsory national social insurance programs were established in Germany under chancellor Bismarck in the late  19th century.

Social Insurance has not been a major part of Australia’s welfare system despite abortive efforts in the 1920s and 1930s to introduce such schemes. However, over the last several decades major

Additions to the Australian health and welfare systems have included Medicare and the national disability insurance (NDIS) scheme, and interest in introducing additional schemes persists.

Where we now, and where are we headed?

Download 2015 Symposium Panel Presentations

More about the 2015 Symposium

An assessment of social insurance schemes is timely in both the international and Australian contexts. Some countries are making efforts to roll back some social insurance schemes, often encountering spirited resistance, while others are introducing new ones. In Australia, both Medicare and the NDIS are widely supported while some voices can be heard in support, for example, of long-term  care, unemployment and other types of social insurance. Debates about the future equity and sustainability of health and welfare systems are necessarily incomplete without a serious discussion about the design, impacts and sustainability of social insurance schemes.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia’s 2015 Symposium—Social Insurance for the 21st Century? Exploring pathways for a sustainable, equitable and effective welfare system promises to provide an informed and lively discussion on aspects of national and international social insurance schemes. Past and contemporary  experience and current priorities will be assessed, and advice from Australian and leading international experts in the field will provide Australia’s researchers and policy makers with valuable insights for ongoing reform in Australia’s welfare system.

For more information, please contact:
Mrs Sunita Kumar
Manager, Public Forums and Communication
sunita.kumar [at]
+61 .2 62491788