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[Editorial] National Pension System Should Be Overhauled

[Editorial] National Pension System Should Be Overhauled

Posted June. 03, 2004 21:15,   


The Ministry of Health and Welfare has introduced an improvement scheme for the national pension system, which centers on a relaxation on compulsory collection. However, it does not appear to be a fundamental measure to address fierce public discontent, but a stopgap one that will fall short of pacifying public resistance to the pension. The government needs to be clearly aware that public distrust in the pension is not due to its lack of understanding but to the contradiction of the institution itself.

What was the most outrageous about “The Secret of the National Pension,” an anonymous statement spreading over the Internet, was the so-called payout adjustment: they should choose either retirement payout or bereaved family’s payout when they are eligible for both. Although this is a very keen issue to recipients, the government has left the public in the dark about it and has argued that the pension would address worries about retirement life.

The government and the National Pension Corporation should solve the issue by first making an apology for their collection of pension contributions while covering up the loopholes. They cannot appease distrust and discontent with a cosmetic measure that goes easy on the collection of contributions.

The new scheme did not include ways to fix unreasonable contribution rate counting and collection or a rationalization of management of an overstretched National Pension Corporation. Although the government said it would launch an institutional revision commission by year-end to bring out comprehensive measures for the pension, it is hardly trustworthy, given the sequence of event to date. Late last year, the government said it would revise the pension law, but it was opposed to schemes or stalled them as a way to woo voters ahead of elections.

The national pension, the ultimate social safety net in an aging society, cannot be repealed. However, the government should close the loopholes to address the public’s feelings of deprivation. It should overhaul the pension system by introducing a basic pension for low-income retirees and by eliminating stark institutional gaps between the public servants’ pension and private school teachers’.

The 17th National Assembly should prioritize the revision of the national pension law to mollify contributors’ discontent and forestall the exhaustion of pension funds.