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National Pension Recipients Total 2 Million

Posted February. 08, 2007 07:09,   


The number of national pension insurants amounted to 17.74 million as of January 1, 2007, and the number of recipients amounted to 1.85 million or 10.5 percent. The number of national pension recipients is 25.7 percent of the total population over 60 years of age, numbering 7.23 million. Excluding the recipients of survivor and disabled pensions, about two people out of 10 among the population over 60 are receiving the pension.

The average amount of pension one person receives stands at 188,394 won, and 67.8 percent of recipients earn less than 200,000 won a month. Taking into account that the minimum cost of living for one person is 435,921 won, it is clear that it is difficult to make a living with just the national pension. Some 92.6 percent of recipients are receiving a pension smaller than the minimum cost of living. Those who receive more than 800,000 won a month stood at a mere 0.1 percent or 1,473.

“The proportion of people receiving a small amount of money is large because there are many people with a short enrollment period. By 2010, the number of people receiving more than 600,000 won is expected to reach 3-5 percent,” said a worker at the National Pension Service.

The average pension amount per person varies greatly by region. The highest was Ulsan with 241,248 won, followed by Seoul with 220,115 won.

That of big cities such as Incheon and Busan was around 200,000 won. The lowest regions were North Jeolla Province (149,861 won) and South Jeolla Province (143,142 won). South Jeolla Province had the highest ratio of people receiving less than 200,000 won, 84.3 percent.

Recipients of more than 800,000 won were concentrated in big cities. Seoul and Busan have 54.3 percent of the people receiving over 800,000. Those receiving more than 400,000 won and less than 800,000 won were also concentrated in big cities.

The proportion of recipients to pension insurants was high in farming and fishing villages. The highest was South Jeolla Province (25.4 percent), and the lowest was Seoul (6.3 percent).

“This phenomenon is natural because population in farming and fishing villages are mostly aged, and their income level is low. Adjustments should be made at the micro level because the gap in income is leading to a pension income gap,” said professor Kim Sang-ho of Kwandong University.

The gender gap was also evident. Men received 212,250 won on average while women received 135,264 won. The number of male beneficiaries was 1.11 million compared to 739,796 women recipients. However, the proportion of recipients to pension insurants was 11.5 percent for women and 9.9 percent for men because women’s social activities have increased from the mid 1990s.

Only one percent (15) of recipients of more than 800,000 won are women. There was no region that did not have men who received a high amount of pension, but only five regions, Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Gyeonggi, and Chungnam had women who received 800,000 or more. Almost 99 percent of the recipients receiving from 600,000 to 800,000 won are men.

Some 98.8 percent of women received less than 400,000 won, and 78.7 percent of women received less than 200,000 won.

“Women usually have a shorter enrollment period than men, and there is a gender gap in income because there is a difference in wage level. Recently, however, women’s economic status is improving, so there will be more women who receive a large pension,” said an official at the NPS.