SEOUL, July 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Kookmin Bank announced that it has launched “Departure Guarantee Insurance Benefits Payment Service” for foreign workers in Korea, starting from July 29.
Departure Guarantee Insurance is an insurance plan required under “the Act on the Employment of Foreign Workers,” by employers who hire foreign workers in Korea. The insurance scheme was introduced in part to relieve the employer’s burden of making a lump-sum payment upon retirement of foreign workers and guarantee the workers’ income before returning home.
True to its name, it was also designed to make payment of insurance benefits conditional on departure given the need to prevent foreign workers from staying illegally in Korea and ensure their stable settlement after they go back to their home countries.
Up until now, there has been no provision stipulating the timing of payment of departure guarantee insurance benefits for foreign workers. However, following the passage of the amendments on the foreign workers employment act in the National Assembly on July 29, the insurance benefits are now to be paid within 14 days after the departure of the foreign worker, given the original purpose of the insurance scheme. The recipient of the benefits can choose the method of payment, between payment by overseas wire transfer or by payment on the day of the departure at the airport.
The revision, however, has faced quite a backlash from foreign workers who are afraid that they may not receive the benefits at all and not happy with the fact that the wire transfer fee and the exchange loss would fall entirely upon them. The newly launched service of Kookmin Bank is intended to ease such concerns.
An official of the bank said, “Any foreign worker who signs up for our departure guarantee insurance benefit payment service will be granted privileges in currency exchange fees or wire transfer cost. We will put our best effort to provide services that will make the collection of the benefits quick and easy for our customers.”
On the other hand, Kookmin Bank is currently operating “KB Welcome Service,” a service designed especially for foreigners residing in Korea, which includes “KB Welcome Account” exclusive to foreigners, and a consulting center where service is provided in the customers’ native language. The bank is also looking to constantly upgrade financial as well as non-financial services for foreigners and hold various events for them.
By J. H. Kim (email@example.com)