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Social security and labor migration in ASEAN

This policy brief takes a preliminary look at portability of social security in ASEAN, particularly old-age, retirement, and survivor benefits. Portability of social security affects key decisions of migrant workers, for example whether to retire early and where to spend their retirement—in their home or host country. Social security portability also has important economic implications for host and home countries. If labor-receiving countries are keen to see foreign workers go back home, portability of social security would help facilitate such a politically desirable outcome. Labor-sending countries also benefit from circular migration flows through enhanced human capital of and increased investments from returning migrants. With portable social security returning migrants minimize the burdens on their home countries’ social services. Significantly, for regions that aim at deeper economic integration like the ASEAN, social security portability can facilitate a more orderly labor movement within the region, foment greater social cohesion and more “buy-in” for the integration efforts.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Emigration
  • Foreign workers in country
  • Migration
  • Social security and veterans
  • Social security and veterans policy and administration
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Myanmar
  • Viet Nam
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

© Asian Development Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Version / Edition 1.0
License CC-BY-4.0

Asian Development Bank Institute Kasumigaseki Building 8F 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-6008, Japan Tel: +81-3-3593-5500 E-mail:

Author (individual) Pasadilla, Gloria O.
Publication place Tokyo, Japan
Publisher Asian Development Bank Institute
Publication date 2011
Date uploaded August 29, 2015, 14:10 (UTC)
Date modified January 8, 2016, 00:11 (UTC)