SEOUL, July 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Nearly 7 in 10 South Korean senior citizens want to keep working until the age of 73 amid a rise in life expectancy, a survey showed Tuesday.
The survey by Statistics Korea showed 10 million, or 68.1 percent, of the 14.76 million South Koreans aged between 55 and 79, said in May they want to continue to work in the future, up 0.7 percentage point from a year earlier.
The elderly said they want to keep working until an average of 73, unchanged from the previous year.
As for the main reasons for hoping to work, 58.7 percent said they want to earn living expenses. The survey showed 33.2 percent said they want to feel the joy of work as long as their health permits.
The proportion of those aged between 55 and 79 accounted for 32.8 percent of the 45 million people aged 15 and older as of end-May.
South Korea is grappling with demographic challenges from a chronically low birthrate and rapid aging.
The country is widely expected to become a super-aged society in 2025, in which the proportion of those aged 65 and older will hit 20 percent of the total population.
The country became an aged society in 2017, as the portion of such people exceeded 14 percent.
Whether to extend the retirement age, currently set at 60, has become a hot-button social issue here due to the growing need to tackle a major drop in the working population in the coming years.
But the government remains cautious about the extension of the retirement age, possibly to 65, citing the need to build a social consensus.