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S. Koreans aged 50 and above lack retirement plan: poll

South Koreans aged 50 and above have few plans for post-retirement life, a poll showed Monday, urging the authorities to revise its pension programs to cover those in need of support for basic needs.

According to a nationwide poll conducted by the National Pension Research Institute in 2011, only 16.1 percent of 6,341 South Koreans aged 50 and above surveyed said they are enrolled in public pension programs.

Among those who are covered by pensions, the majority were enrolled in the national pension, while 4.2 percent subscribed to government-employees pension and 2.8 percent sought after private pensions.

Around 66 percent of those who had no post-retirement plan said they had insufficient income to do so, and 13.4 percent said they had limited leeway in spending due to their children's weddings.

Nearly 61 percent of those enrolled in pension programs, however, also said the amounts covered by such plans are not enough.

More than half of people surveyed were unemployed, casting further clouds over post-retirement plans for those aged 50 and above.

The surveyed group's employment rate, which refers to the proportion of working people to economically active people, came to 42 percent, while only 42 percent of them received wages on a regular basis.

The average monthly income of those wage-earners reached 1.1 million won ($1,028) last year, hovering below 1.23 million won, which is the amount presumed by those surveyed as the minimum level needed to meet basic needs. (Yonhap News)