Gov‘t considers senior employment after retirement age

Sep 19, 2019, 09:17 am

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Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, speaks in a meeting with officials at a government building in Seoul on Sept. 18, 2019./ Source: Ministry of Economy and Finance

By AsiaToday reporter Lee Ji-hoon 

The government is considering introducing a system where companies are able to select options to extend employment of workers. In addition, the government will raise subsidy for senior workers to 300,000 won ($252) per quarter and alleviate visa restrictions to attract excellent foreign workers. 

The government on Wednesday held an economy revitalization meeting presided by Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Hong Nam-ki, and unveiled a set of measures addressing demographic changes.

The measures are comprised of 20 policy tasks in four key strategies – measures to increase working age population, reduce shock from decreasing number of absolute population, deal with rapidly aging population and financing for increased welfare demand. The government first announced measures related to increasing working age population. It plans to gradually unveil the remaining 17 policy tasks in three areas by next month. 

First of all, the government said it will review to introduce a system that would require companies to employ workers until a certain age beyond the current retirement age of 60, starting in 2022. The system would allow companies to select options, such as rehiring of employees, extension or abolition of retirement age. The introduction of such system will have a significant impact on the labor market since it will have the effect of extending the retirement age.

“It means that a social discussion on the extension of retirement age is necessary, especially in academic circles. We are not at the stage of planning measures at the government level,” Hong told reporters after the meeting. “It took 23 years to extend retirement age to 60 years old,” he added.

In order to boost employment of senior citizens, the government will expand incentives to eligible companies that hire people aged 60 or more to 300,000 won ($252) from 270,000 won per quarter starting next year. 

The so-called “excellent personnel visa” will be introduced in order to attract outstanding foreign individuals. Foreigners holding such visa will be given benefits, such as allowing them long-term residence as well as allowing their family to have a job. 

Various incentives will be given to outstanding foreign workers living in rural areas in order to increase the declining rural population. To this end, long-term stays will be allowed for foreign students or skilled technicians in the corresponding areas. They will be also subject to extra benefits when applying for a permanent residency review.

In addition, the government decided to integrate foreign-related laws in order to establish an integrated immigration management law system.

#senior employment #retirement age #Hong Nam-ki 
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