ISSA was founded in 1927 and now has over 340 members in some 130 countries around the world. Its objective is to defend and promote social security throughout the world. Affiliate members are government departments, centralised institutions and national federations of institutions administering social security in their countries. Associate members are national non-profit making institutions whose aims are compatible with those of ISSA. The main functions of ISSA are to promote members with a forum for exchanging information and experience; to organise training courses and educational seminars; and to undertake research on social security issues.