SEOUL, Mar. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of South Korean divorcees are sharing the national pension received by their ex-spouses due to rising gray divorces, data showed Wednesday.
According to the data from the National Pension Service, 28,259 people were receiving part of their ex-spouse’s pension as of end-2018, a sharp increase from 4,632 in 2010.
Women accounted for 88.3 percent of the total. People aged 60 to 64 were the largest portion at 12,025, followed by those in the 65-69 age group with 10.429.
The jump in pension sharing was attributed mainly to a drastic rise in the number of divorces by older people.
According to government data, South Korea had 108,700 divorces last year, up 2.5 percent from the previous year. There was a 30-percent spike in the number of people who got divorced after 30 or more years of marriage.
Nearly 46 percent of the total was reported among couples whose marriage lasted for 20 years or longer.
South Korea introduced pension sharing in 1990 with a set of preconditions attached, including the minimum duration of marriage.
Currently, a couple needs to be married for more than five years to receive benefits from the other person’s pension payment. Other prerequisites are age and duration of subscription.
But the government is moving to ease related rules in an apparent bid to prevent unnecessary disputes and the growing number of people going their own way in their senior years.
The surge in so-called diamond divorces comes with South Korea’s rapidly aging population and rising life expectancy.
South Korea became an aged society in 2017, with the ratio of people aged 65 or older hitting 14 percent of its population of 50 million. The country is forecast to become a super-aged society in 2026, when the figure is likely to surpass 20 percent.
South Koreans’ life expectancy at birth averaged 82.7 years in 2017, three months longer than a year earlier. The number was up sharply from 62.3 years in 1970.