Speaker urges passage of pension reform in 21st National Assembly

National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo speaks during a press conference at the National Assembly in  Seoul, Sunday. Yonhap

National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo encouraged political parties Sunday to pass a pension reform plan before the conclusion of the current term of the 21st Assembly, saying it is the “golden time” for such legislation. The ongoing session of the Assembly is set to end on Wednesday.Pension reform has been one of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s pledges as the country’s national pension fund is projected to be depleted by 2055.During a press conference at the Assembly in Seoul, Kim emphasized the need for the two main rival parties to agree upon carrying out parametric reform during the current parliamentary session. He also suggested that discussions on structural reform could be continued in the subsequent 22nd Assembly, scheduled to convene on Thursday. The parametric reform involves raising the premium rate and income replacement rate.

“Pension reform is related to benefits for all older citizens and the monthly burden of paying premiums for office workers, self-employed workers and stay-at-home spouses. This is something that must be handled during the 21st National Assembly within the scope of the agreement,” Kim said.After several rounds of negotiations, the ruling People Power Party (PPP) and the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) have agreed on the need to raise the premium rate from the current 9 percent to 13 percent of income, but failed to narrow their differences on the income replacement rate.The PPP has proposed an income replacement rate of 44 percent, up from the 40 percent set for 2028, while the DPK has suggested 45 percent.The income replacement rate is a percentage indicating how much of a worker’s pre-retirement income is replaced by the amount of money the worker gets paid after retirement. For example, if a worker earned an average of $1,000 per month before retirement, a 44 percent replacement rate means that the worker will be paid $440 per month after retirement.”If the 21st Assembly carries out a reform to increase the premium rate, it will have historical significance as the pension reform had not been successful for 17 years since 2007,” Kim said. “If the reform plan is further postponed, public trust in the 슬롯사이트 national pension fund may decline.”

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