SEOUL, April 12 (Korea Bizwire) – With South Korea seeing more late-marriage divorces, the number of pensioners who split their benefits with former partners is also on the rise.
As mandated by local civil law, divorcees who were married for a minimum of five years are entitled to half of the annuity (negotiable starting this year) provided to their ex-husband or wife.
The law was introduced in 1999 with the revision to the National Pension Act in order to guarantee the old-age income of spouses who never had the chance to subscribe to the national pension, usually due to housework or raising their children – which applies to many Korean women.
In fact, among the 19,830 individuals receiving a shared pension last year, women accounted for 88.2 percent (17,496). The total number was more than four times the figure in 2010 at 4,632. It rose to 6,106 in 2011, 8,280 in 2012, 9,835 in 2013, 11,900 in 2014 and 14,829 in 2015, according to the National Pension Service.
This increase is largely attributed to South Korea’s rising divorce rate in older couples, experts say.
Data from Statistics Korea revealed that almost one third (30.4 percent) of all divorces in 2016 were of couples married for 20 years or more. Of the divorces, 12 percent were for couples married 20 to 24 years, 8.3 percent for those married 25 to 29 years, and 10.1 percent for couples married 30 years or longer.
The number of divorces for couples married 30 years or longer, in particular, more than doubled over the past decade.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)