The National Assembly approved the basic pension bill on Friday, ending a three-month political battle over one of President Park Geun-hye’s key welfare programs.
The bill was passed in a vote at the Assembly’s plenary session in the evening, hours after opposition party lawmakers said they would follow the party leadership’s decision.
The ruling Saenuri Party and the Ministry of Health and Welfare had been locked in a battle with the main opposition since February, differing over the scale of the benefits.
The government, in its final plan proposed late last year, said it would dole out a monthly pension from 100,000 won to 200,000 won ($94 to $188) to the bottom 70 percent of senior citizens according to how long and how much money they have contributed to the existing national pension fund. The opposition party attacked the government for deceiving the public,” stressing that Park had vowed to offer 200,000 won to every senior citizen regardless of income level.
The NPAD had called on the government to scrap its plan linking the basic pension scheme with the national pension and to expand the scope of recipients.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)