Korea tackles its ageing workforce

Korea has been dubbed a 'super ageing society'. It has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, and experts are forecasting that the country's population will start decreasing from 2017 onwards. The implications for its workforce are serious: by 2030, the average Korean worker could pay 54.7% in taxes and other welfare contributions.

by CSR-Asia Weekly
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

In a bid to reverse such a scenario, Seoul has proposed to raise the retirement age to 60 by 2008 and 65 by 2033 (the average is currently 57). The capital is also planning on removing barriers facing older workers and toughening laws against age discrimination at work.

Last week, the government also joined forces with the business community, religious and civic group leaders to set up a convention aimed at tackling low birth rates and the ageing population. The agreement is not legally binding but it contains various pledges to improve childcare facilities and flexible working hours for working mothers and older workers.

There is widespread scepticism regarding the plan's efficiency since it has no legal power. But it does at least testify of the country's willingness to address a difficult and sensitive issue.

Source: Koreans sign pact over ageing population
Stephen Frost
CSR Asia Weekly Vol 2 Week 25

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