SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — With an increasing number of South Koreans beginning to believe the argument that the national pension fund will be depleted around 2056 or 2057, which is three to four years earlier than previous estimates, worry over not being able to receive a proper pension is spreading among the general public.
After allegations that the Park Geun-hye administration used pension funds to help facilitate the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, public distrust in the pension system has grown even deeper.
Experts say that in order regain public trust, the government must guarantee an appropriate amount of income for retired senior citizens.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and National Pension Service, the current law stipulates that the national pension be managed by the Minister of Health and Welfare, while the operation of the actual fund is entrusted to the National Pension Service by the Health Minister.
The underlying premise, therefore, is that the responsibility of the national pension is ultimately in the hands of the government. However, such government responsibility is not clearly stated in the law in regards to the disbursement of funds.
There have been efforts by politicians to incorporate into relevant laws the government’s role in the management of the pension fund, namely in 2005 and 2012.
But such efforts were unsuccessful due to opposition from the Blue House and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
More recently, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea has been planning to push for measures that guarantee the government’s role in executing payments from the national pension fund.
In August of last year, Nam In-soon and Jung Chun-sook, both lawmakers belonging to the ruling party, proposed a bill that would include the statement, “the nation must guarantee the payment of the national pension in a stable, continuous manner.”
In response to this proposal, the Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo stated that the ministry would seriously consider the move as the pension is “ultimately the responsibility of the government.”
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)