More older people are working in Korea than in other advanced countries, reflecting the country’s older retirement age but also greater worries over lack of benefits after their retreat from the workforce, recent data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed.
According to OECD’s report on aging and employment policies, the employment rate for the population aged 65 to 69 in Korea was 41 percent, more than twice the OECD average of 18.5 percent. Korea’s rate was second only to Iceland with 46.7 percent, according to the report.
In almost all OECD countries, the average retirement has declined substantially since 1970. But the average effective age of retirement is very high in Korea, at 71 for men and 69 for women, the report said.
Observers said more workers opt to postpone their retirement as retirement investments shrink in value, and as the pension age is gradually being raised in the rapidly aging society.
In Korea, retirement pension is currently available from age 60 provided the individual has contributed for 10 years or more.
Improving retirement pensions is one of President-elect Park Geun-hye’s pledges for facing rapid population aging.
Park pledged to provide a basic pension of 200,000 won to all senior citizens over 65 as of 2014, regardless of their income. Currently, 66 percent of people over 65 are receiving a basic old-age pension of 97,100 won per month.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)