SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of South Korean recipients of the state pension who are 100 years old or older has risen every year recently, data showed Monday.
According to the data by the National Pension Service (NPS), the number of centenarians receiving the state pension came to 54 across the country as of August, up from 18 in 2011, 20 in 2012, 32 in 2014 and 47 in 2015. All centenarian pensioners also were paid the survivor’s pension after their children who had subscribed to the state pension died.
The state pension program was introduced in 1988 to guarantee income for the elderly after retirement and to provide coverage for disabilities and surviving family members.
Each was paid about 230,000 won (US$180) per month on average, the data showed.
By region, most of the centenarians — 14 people — were living in Gyeonggi Province, followed by seven in Seoul and five in North Gyeongsang Province, the data showed. Four centenarians each were residents of South Jeolla Province and Jeju.
Meanwhile, the total number of South Koreans who receive various types of state pension was tallied at 3.97 million as of the end of August.
Senior South Koreans are entitled to receive national pension payments after paying premiums for up to 10 years until the age of 60 during their working years.
South Korea is on the verge of becoming an aged society, with the share of senior citizens reaching 13.1 percent of the country’s population of 50.62 million last year. A country is defined as an “aged society” if more than 14 percent of the population are 65 or older.