This paper focuses on old-age income security, with the objective to explore obstacles and opportunities to expand social protection for informal workers in El Salvador. It first introduces the main concepts and debates on social security, social protection, coverage and informality, to later assess the extent to which the social security system and particularly the pension system is handling the challenges to include the excluded. The paper reviews formal attitudes, risk assumptions, legal frameworks and official indicators as well as informal workers opinions on topics related to work, income, savings and security to highlight the existing gaps between formal and informal worlds and visions. Bearing in mind these differences and some particular context factors, the paper rules out the short-term possibility that old-age social protection in El Salvador will be expanded through social security measures. As a result, it explores ideas on how, in spite of the obstacles and unfulfilled obligations, other institutions can come forward so that old-age social protection for less favored workers is no longer delayed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords aged, informal sector, pension schemes, social security
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sponsor Authors: Nancy Elizabeth Argueta Joya
Persistent URL
Joya, N.E.A.. (2007). Dreams that do not come true: re-addressing social security to expand old-age social protection: the case of informal workers in El Salvador.. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from