One-third of elderly people in Korea live in poverty, according to a study published by the National Pension Research Institute.
The study found 35.1 percent of households consisting only of people aged 65 or older last year lived in "absolute" poverty, meaning their income was below the minimum cost of living of W860,000 for a family of two (US$1=W1,175).
The proportion of older people living in poverty was 2.5 times larger than the proportion of total poor households and has risen from 30 percent in 2006.
The study shows that welfare payments for senior citizens, which were introduced in 2008, have yet to make a significant impact in alleviating poverty. The government gives W90,000 a month to single senior citizens and W144,000 to elderly couples who fall in the bottom 70 percent of the income bracket.