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Early Retirement Exodus for Teachers

Posted July. 25, 2007 03:02,   


Concerned over a decline in the pension if the Law on Public Servant’s Pension is being revised, more than 1,000 teachers in Seoul alone have applied for early retirement this year.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, 310 teachers in Seoul have asked for early retirement by August 31. The office announced on July 24 that those applications will all be accepted.

Combined with 855 teachers who already retired in February, the number of retired teachers this year, a total of 1,165, is the highest since 2001.

Despite a slight decline in 2005, the number of early retired teachers has been steadily on the rise: 111 in 2001, 124 in 2002, 137 in 2003, 192 in 2004, 60 in 2005, and 437 in 2006. This year had a 2.6 times increase from last year.

All of this year’s applicants have worked in the public education field for more than 20 years. They comprise 97 elementary school teachers, 118 public secondary school teachers, and 95 private secondary school teachers. Eight school principals also submitted an application for early retirement.

These teachers will receive retirement allowance according to the number of remaining years before the standard retirement year and salary class.

“Early retirement allowance is 76 million won per person on average, so a total of 23.6 billion won is needed. We raised the necessary fund by issuing government-supported municipal bonds, which was approved by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development,” said an official at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

The increase in application is due to the concern over a reduction of pension funds. Since the revised National Pension Law was passed in the National Assembly last month, the Law on Public Servant’s Pension can also be revised, which will have an impact on pension payment.

“Many teachers worry about a possible reduction of their pension payment. Recently, during the application submission period, there was a circulation of an unknown document informing that teachers who have worked more than 20 years will suffer a loss of 130 million won unless they retire early,” said an insider of the Korean Federation of Teacher’s Association.

He added, “If the Law on Public Servant’s Pension is revised according to the announced plan of the committee on advancing the public servant pension system under the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, late retirement will indeed give those veteran teachers a loss of 22.2 million won. This figure counts the increase in retirement allowance in case of early retirement and a decline in pension payment.”