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At what age do South Koreans retire?


South Korea is a country known for its work ethic and productivity. However, like any other country, there comes a time when people have to retire from work. In this article, we will be discussing the retirement age in South Korea.

History of Retirement Age in South Korea

Retirement age in South Korea has evolved over time. Before 2005, the retirement age was set at 55. This was later increased to 60 in 2005, and then to 65 in 2018. The increase in the retirement age was due to a growing elderly population and concerns over pension deficits.

Current Retirement Age in South Korea

As of 2021, the official retirement age in South Korea is 60 years for most workers. However, for those born in 1963 or later, the retirement age will increase gradually to 62 by 2027.

Exceptions to Retirement Age

There are some exceptions to the retirement age in South Korea. For example, workers in physically demanding jobs such as mining, construction, and transportation are allowed to retire earlier. Additionally, some public sector workers such as teachers and civil servants have different retirement ages.

Pension System in South Korea

In South Korea, employees are required to contribute a portion of their salary to the National Pension Service (NPS). This pension system is mandatory for all employed citizens and provides benefits to those who are eligible upon retirement.

Retirement Benefits

Retiring employees in South Korea are eligible for several benefits. These include a lump-sum severance pay of one month’s salary for each year of service, as well as an NPS pension if they have contributed enough during their working years.

Challenges Faced by Retirees

Retiring in South Korea can be challenging for some individuals. Many retirees worry about their financial stability, especially with the increasing cost of living. Additionally, some retirees may struggle to find meaningful activities to occupy their time.

Retirement Planning in South Korea

To address the challenges faced by retirees, the South Korean government has implemented various retirement planning programs. These programs provide financial and social support to retirees, including access to health care, leisure activities, and volunteer opportunities.

Cultural Attitudes Towards Retirement

In South Korea, there is a cultural expectation to continue working even after retirement age. Many elderly Koreans continue to work part-time or start their own businesses. This is due to a combination of factors such as financial need, sense of purpose, and desire to contribute to society.

Impact of Retirement Age on Economy

The retirement age in South Korea has a significant impact on the economy. With an aging population and a low birth rate, there are concerns over a shortage of workers in certain industries. Increasing the retirement age helps to address this issue by keeping experienced workers in the workforce for longer.

Comparison with Other Countries

Compared to other countries, South Korea has a relatively high retirement age. For example, in the United States, the retirement age is 67 for those born after 1960. In Japan, the retirement age is 60 for women and 65 for men.


In conclusion, the retirement age in South Korea has evolved over time and currently stands at 60 years for most workers. While retiring can be challenging for some individuals, the government has implemented various programs to support retirees. Additionally, the cultural expectation to continue working after retirement age helps to address concerns over a shortage of workers in certain industries.

What country has youngest retirement age?

As of 2020, the age at which men can retire varies from 52 years in Turkey to 67 years in Norway and Iceland. Women in Turkey can retire at 49 years old, while Norway and Iceland have the highest retirement ages for women at 67 years old. This information was current as of January 23, 2023.

How much is the Korean pension?

The maximum amount an employee can contribute to the national pension fund for the period of July 2022 to June 2023 is KRW 248,850 per month, with a cap on contributions based on a monthly salary of KRW 5,530,000. These figures are subject to change every July.

How much do you need to retire comfortably in South Korea?

If you set aside a monthly budget of between 3,000 USD and 4,000 USD (which is equivalent to 3,697,605 KRW and 4,930,260 KRW), you should be able to comfortably support yourself during your retirement years while still saving money. However, if your income exceeds this amount, you may be able to live a more luxurious lifestyle and support a family with ease. This advice is valid until January 31, 2023.

How much is old-age pension in South Korea?

In Korea, around 60% of individuals who are 65 years or older are eligible for a pension benefit equal to 5% of their previous average income, with an average payment of KRW 90,000. The basic old-age pension scheme applies to people over the age of 65 who were earning below a certain amount determined by presidential decree.

What is USA full retirement age?

The full retirement age was increased by a law that affected individuals born from 1938 onwards. The retirement age increases by a few months each year depending on one’s birth year, ultimately reaching 67 for those born in 1960 and beyond.

What is the US average retirement age?

The retirement age for most American workers is 64, but this can vary based on various factors such as the benefits from Social Security, retirement savings, pension plans, and the desired lifestyle during retirement.

However, there are also concerns over the impact that an aging population can have on the economy. With a large number of retirees and fewer young people entering the workforce, there may be a decrease in economic growth and productivity. This is why many countries, including South Korea, are exploring ways to encourage older workers to stay in the workforce for longer.

One way that South Korea is addressing this issue is through the introduction of flexible work arrangements. These arrangements allow older workers to work part-time or on a flexible schedule, which can help them transition to retirement while still contributing to the workforce. Additionally, some companies are offering training programs and opportunities for re-skilling to help older workers adapt to changes in the job market.

Another challenge facing retirees in South Korea is social isolation. Many elderly Koreans live alone and may struggle with loneliness and depression. To address this issue, the government has implemented various programs to promote social engagement among retirees. These programs include community centers, senior clubs, and volunteer opportunities.

Overall, the retirement age in South Korea is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of economic, social, and cultural factors. While increasing the retirement age can help address concerns over a shortage of workers, it is important to also provide support for retirees to ensure a smooth transition into retirement. By promoting flexible work arrangements and social engagement, South Korea can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for its aging population.

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