Older Koreans Determined to Keep Working

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    July 27, 2022 12:30

    Gone are the days when Korean salarymen retired early to their ancestral hometown for a life of leisure.
    Now six out of 10 Koreans in their silver years still have to work to make a living, according to Statistics Korea on Tuesday. The employment rate among those aged 55-79 stood at 58.1 percent this year, the highest on record.
    At the same time, the population of that age group in Korea has increased by 332,000 from last year to 15.1 million, surpassing 15 million for the first time. And of these, 8.77 million are employed.
    Unsurprisingly, 68.5 percent of employed older Koreans said they want to work more, up from 61.2 percent who felt that way in 2015, while 93.4 percent said they want to keep working.
    Most or 57.1 percent cited the need to make money, but 34.7 percent enjoy working and do not feel they should be thrown on the scrapheap just yet. They typically said 73 is a good age to finally put up their feet.
    But it seems these people are not well prepared for retirement when it eventually comes. Only 49 percent receive pensions, and the average monthly pension stands at just W690,000, up by a mere W50,000 from a year ago (US$1=W1,308).
    Eleven percent get no more than W100,000-W250,000 a month, and 44 percent between W250,000 and W500,000.
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