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Research within the FSIO covers four areas: old-age benefits; disability / invalidity; family, generations and society; basics and future development of the social security system.

1. Old-age benefits

Longer life expectancy in retirement age, the low returns on pension fund investments and developments on the labour market are continually confronting the pension system with new challenges. FSIO Research did a lot of background work for the current Retirement System 2020 reform. For example, it analysed the operating conditions of retirement in the context of demographic trends; it looked into how the planned 2nd pillar measures will affect labour costs, net salaries and employment, and it projected possible developments in the Swiss economy up to 2035, along with the related return expectations for those investment categories of importance to pension institutions. The consequences of changes to the law in the field of social security and occupational pensions are systematically evaluated both ex-ante and ex-post, and any need for adjustment is highlighted.

2. Disability / invalidity

The 4th, 5th and 6th Revisions of the Federal Law on Invalidity Insurance focused on the principle of «rehabilitation before a pension» and the rehabilitation of invalidity insurance pensioners. The measures contained in these reforms were the subject of the second multiannual invalidity research programme (FoP2-IV), which ran from 2010 until 2015. Further research and evaluation projects focused on the assessment process, benefits to support the independence of disabled people, and measures for identifying, treating and supporting children with disorders of psychological development or adolescents and young adults with greater risk potential. Cooperation with IV (disability) partners such as unemployment insurance, social welfare, companies and the treating physicians was also analysed. The subsequent FoP3-IV programme, which was launched in 2016, will focus – among other things – on the long-term effects of the 6th Revision of the Law on Invalidity and on the topic of integrating children and adolescents with health problems as well as on prospective analyses, such as the creation of innovative domestic and international models for Switzerland and the assessment and evaluation of their impact.

3. Family, generations and society

This broad area examines research projects on societal, economic and demographic issues and evaluates the efficacy of measures. This broad area examines societal, economic and demographic issues from a scientific standpoint and evaluates the efficacy of measures. Topics relating to family policy as well as child, youth and generation-related topics are also examined in greater detail so as to provide information for political debate.
The «National Programme for Preventing and Combating Poverty» (2014–2018) focuses on the action areas «Education opportunities for children, adolescents and adults», «Social and occupational integration», «Living conditions» and «Impact assessment and monitoring». FSIO sector-specific research provides the bases and systematized findings for these fields of activity with the aim of identifying exemplary action and making the specialist and administrative actors in the cantons, cities and municipalities aware of it. Moreover, the programme aims to be a platform for a broader stakeholder group for exchange and networking and to support it in developing existing strategies and measures. The programme will be evaluated at mid-term and upon completion.

4. Prospects and future development of the social security system

Social insurance is part of the social security system and plays a major role in the economy. FSIO research therefore also addresses topics that extend beyond the narrower scope of social insurance. This involves issues relating to the social and economic situation of various sectors of the population as well as the examination of various forms and alternatives to the current social security system.

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