National Pension Service Suffers Massive Losses

  • By Heo Sang-woo

    April 27, 2020 12:37

    Recipients of state pensions surpassed 5 million this month, when Koreans aged 62 became eligible, the National Pension Service said last week.

    The average monthly pension stood at W530,000 a month as of the end of last year, and people who have paid their contributions for more than 20 years get on average W920,000, according to the NPS (US$1=W1,236).

    The age of first-time recipients will rise from 62 at present to 65 in 2033.

    But the NPS faces many difficulties as the number of recipients rises in inverse proportion to the number of payers. Payers are expected to dwindle from 22.2 million last year to 20.34 million in 2030 as Korea ages.

    The coronavirus epidemic is straining finances further, with analysts estimating the NPS' investment losses at W47 trillion in the first quarter of this year. Final figures will be announced in late May.

    Yet the government and lawmakers remain unwilling to overhaul regulations.

    The contribution has not increased since 1989, when it rose from six to nine percent of a worker's income. At this rate, the NPS's finances are estimated to run dry by 2054.

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