Social benefits to households

In national accounts in OECD countries, social benefits to households can be broken down into two distinct categories of social benefits: social benefits other than social transfers and social transfers in kind. The distinction between the two is important. Transfers relating to the former are typically in cash and so allow households to use the cash indistinguishably from income coming from other sources, whereas transfers under the latter are always related to the provision of a certain good or service, and so households have no discretion over their use. Social benefits other than social transfers in kind may be further broken down into two key components: social insurance benefits and social assistance benefits in cash. The latter consist of cash transfers made by government units or by non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) to households to meet the same kinds of needs as social insurance benefits, but where the households or needs are outside of any social insurance scheme or where the social insurance benefits are not considered sufficient to cover the needs. It does not include payments to government/NPISH employees in their capacity as current or former employees. This indicator is measured as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). All OECD countries compile their data according to the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA).

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Keywords: expenditure, social, households, benefit, assistance, maternity leave, children, transfer, families, spending, income support, support