SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Korea Bizwire) — More South Koreans aged over 60 are voluntarily subscribing to the state pension in a bid to better provide for their future years, data showed Friday.
The number of “voluntary and continuous subscribers” to the pension plan came to 483,326 as of the end of April this year, up from 470,599 in 2018, according to the data from the National Pension Service (NPS).
Those subscribers refer to South Koreans who are over the state pension’s age ceiling of 60 but opt to continue their subscriptions until 65.
They can either receive more pension payments or be eligible for the old-age pension program.
The number of those overage subscribers has been rising sharply. In 2010, only 49,381 people subscribed to the extended program, but the figure soared to 345,282 in 2017 before topping the 400,000 mark last year.
The data also showed 331,476 people were “voluntary subscribers” to the state pension scheme as of end-April, up from 330,422 the previous earlier.
These people are not required to have pension subscriptions, which applies to Koreans aged 18-60 and have an income.
They are mostly housewives, military personnel and students aged under 27 who want to receive a pension in their later years.
The number of those non-mandatory subscribers has been on a steady rise, exceeding the 300,000 mark for the first time in 2017 at 327,723.
South Korea adopted the state pension program in 1988 to help the elderly provide for their post-retirement life. The NPS has more than 600 trillion won (US$496 billion) under its management.