Welfare State In Argentina: History And Characteristics

He Welfare state in Argentina was implemented especially during the first two terms of Juan Domingo Perón. The advancement of the welfare state in Western Europe had occurred due to social demands for full employment and improvements in living standards after World War II .

In Argentina, this process had its peculiarities. During the conflict, the national economy had advanced favorably and the State had applied measures to regulate markets and control prices.

In itself, the concept of the welfare state refers to the establishment of a network of social or governmental institutions that play a key role in protecting and promoting the economic and social well-being of citizens.

This is based on the principles of equal opportunities, equitable distribution of wealth and public responsibility. The general term can encompass a variety of forms of economic and social organization.

A fundamental characteristic of the welfare state is social insurance. Generally, it also includes the public provision of basic education, health services and housing. In some cases, these services are offered at little or no cost. Some countries offer comprehensive health coverage and provide state-subsidized tertiary education.

On the other hand, anti-poverty programs can be seen as part of the welfare state. In many socialist countries, the welfare state covers employment and the administration of consumer prices.


Social tensions after the Second World War

After the war, deep social tensions pushed governments to continue state intervention in the social and economic sphere. Society in general held the state responsible for the social question and the implementation of extensive social reforms.

Unions had cooperated with the state and employers during the war. Now they wanted more influence for the working class in the production system.

In several European countries, the masses called for the recognition of new social rights. The states born from the fall of the central powers promoted the defense of internal peace through the establishment of social reforms.

Similarly, victorious nations viewed social policies as an essential tool of compensation. The police state then becomes the welfare or welfare state.

However, the welfare state in Argentina was implemented in a context other than the European one. During the war, industrialized countries withdrew their products from the market. This drove the industrialization process of the country.

The unemployment rate was low, and workers had certain job benefits. In addition, the Argentine State had an active role in the economy, especially in terms of market regulation and price control.

The arrival of Juan Domingo Peron

With this panorama, in 1946 Juan Domingo Perón assumed power for two consecutive periods. In all that time he applied the doctrine of the welfare state in Argentina.

Perón promoted a reform to the constitution. Among others, the 1949 Constitution would lay the foundations for the consolidation of the welfare state.

Among the rights granted to the worker are the right to work and fair remuneration. It also guarantees decent working and training conditions.

Well-being included having adequate housing, clothing and food, as well as other benefits.

Characteristics of the welfare state in Argentina

Pension plan

Before the Perón government (1946-55), there were already six types of occupational pensions. In 1944, a pension scheme was introduced for commercial workers, and then for industrial workers in 1946.

Later, during the Perón government, practically all employees were covered by public pension plans.

However, despite the drastic expansion of these plans, the occupation-related system remained unchanged. Furthermore, attempts to integrate the plans were unsuccessful.

And, although the system covered all occupations, those who actually received pensions were mostly civil servants and employees of private companies. The disparities with respect to other occupations were very great.

Health insurance

On the other hand, health insurance systems were also established by occupational category. But the coverage of this insurance did not reach all occupational categories at that time.

Many health insurances were operated by unions, and their development took place in parallel with the development of the public hospital system. Medical services were free, in principle, for the entire population.

The self-employed were virtually locked out of all social insurance other than pension. The medical system in Argentina gradually stratified.

Employees in the formal sector used health insurance, while the informal sector used public hospitals. For its part, the upper-middle class used private services, medical services and insurance.

Other public welfare policies were traditionally promoted by charitable organizations. With the establishment of the Eva Perón Foundation, the public system expanded.

The foundation acquired a public character and had a great impact on the character of subsequent welfare policies.


After many governments, some benefits of the Peronist period of the welfare state in Argentina remain. Others have been modified or removed.

Social security system

Currently, the social security system in Argentina offers a number of benefits. One of them is unemployment insurance. When the employment relationship is terminated, there is a 90-day application period for this benefit.

The amount paid is between 150 and 300 pesos per month, depending on the salary obtained from the position. It will only be paid for a certain period of time.

Pension systems

On the other hand, there are two pension systems. The first is a state plan. The second is a system of private pension funds supervised by the state. Employees in that nation must choose which scheme they want to use.

Those who choose the private plan can move their contributions between the funds whenever they want. Pensions are paid when men reach 65 years of age, and women reach 60 years.

Sickness and maternity benefits

Also, the employer must pay sickness and maternity benefits. Employees with less than five years of service will qualify for full pay for up to three months if they become ill.

In case of having more than five years of service, it is extended to six months. If the employee has dependents, it can be extended longer. The maternity benefit begins 45 days before the baby’s due date and continues for 45 days afterward.

Finally, a disability pension is paid.  


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