Pension reform conflict returns as 21st National Assembly comes to close

Main opposition Democratic Party of Korea Chairman Rep. Lee Jae-myung, left, speaks during a Supreme Council meeting at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday. Yonhap

Reforming Korea’s pension system reemerged as a political hot potato after the head of the majority-holding main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) abruptly urged the 21st National Assembly to pass a reform plan within its current term, which will end on Wednesday.Rep. Lee Jae-myung, chairman of the DPK, called for a meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol to discuss the issue and reach an agreement regarding the differences between the reform plans of the two main parties. In response. the presidential office said the 22nd Assembly should address the issue, essentially refusing the request for the meeting.

Pension reform has been one of Yoon’s pledges as the country’s national pension fund is feared to deplete sooner than expected. But the DPK and the ruling People Power Party (PPP) have been butting heads over the desirable premium rate and income replacement rate.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 45 percent replacement rate means that the worker will be paid $450 per month after retirement.After several rounds of negotiations, Korea’s two main rival parties agreed on a 13 percent premium rate, but failed to narrow their differences on the income replacement rate, as the PPP backed a 43 percent rate while the DPK persisted with a 45 percent rate.During a press conference on May 9, Yoon said it would be difficult for the current Assembly to reach an agreement and that discussions will need to continue in the upcoming 카지노사이트 22nd Assembly.

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