European journal of social security vol:10 issue:3 pages:227-247
This article discusses some legal aspects pertaining to the idea of refunding social insurance contributions to temporary migrant workers. It presents three possible methods of refunding contributions: a repatriation bonus, an individual pension reserve and an ‘opt-in’ scheme. These three schemes are tested on two countries: the Netherlands and the United States of America. The test reflects the interests of different stakeholders: the migrant workers themselves, the migrant workers’ countries of origin and the host countries. The article concludes that whether refunding social insurance contributions to temporary migrant workers is an attractive policy alternative strongly depends on the national context. For specific social security programmes in the United States, the article suggests that contribution refunding might be worth
considering. But on the whole it concludes that refunding contributions can only be a second best solution. Aiming for proper national standards of protection for migrant workers, supplemented by a network of international social security agreements still presents the most honourable course.