Rethinking Social Insurance for Self-Employed and Gig Workers

Social insurance schemes, traditionally built for stable, employer-employee jobs, often do not fit the reality of gig or self-employed workers with fluctuating incomes. These workers may find it difficult to make regular monthly payments that social insurance requires due to their variable earnings and the high costs of these programs. Participating in formal social insurance is neither feasible nor affordable for many in this demographic due to their unobservable incomes and the high contribution rates of many existing schemes. This note offers key design insights for reimagining social insurance products for self-employed, lowincome, and/or gig workers inspired by the "sachet revolution." This note provides insights on repackaging these products to extend their reach and relevance to a wider audience, drawing on successful consumer goods strategies catering to the preferences and financial capacities of the target market. The aim is to tailor social insurance to meet the diverse needs of an expanded and more diverse client base, ensuring accessibility and practicality. The key design insights include: 1. Offering automatic, small, and flexible payment options. 2. Offering both monetary and non-monetary incentives. 3. Streamlining the registration process by utilizing existing ID systems. 4. Simplifying procedures with digital technology. 5. Establishing registries of potential self-employed workers through partnerships with digital jobs platforms. 6. Using behavioral nudges to encourage participation. By embracing these strategies, social insurance can become more accessible and relevant to those it has previously failed to reach.