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.