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Task force agrees on pension bill

The union of civil servants holds a rally against the pension reform scheme at the National Assembly on Friday. (Yonhap)
The union of civil servants holds a rally against the pension reform scheme at the National Assembly on Friday. (Yonhap)

A task force of government officials, civil servants and experts Friday agreed on a bill that would require civil servants to pay more into and receive less in pension over the next two decades.

The task force said the bill would raise contributions by about 30 percent over the coming five years.

It also scales back entitlements by about 10 percent over the next 20 years.

Entitlements, however, will stay at their current levels until 2020 to ease civil servants into the transition.

The bill is expected to close the pension shortfall by 493 trillion won ($458 billion) over 70 years.

In total, it would also save 309 trillion won in pension budget over the same period.

The ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said they will confirm the bill Saturday afternoon before it is presented to the National Assembly.

South Korea's civil service pension has long faced a looming crisis and caused a deficit of 12 trillion won until last year.

Previous presidents have delayed addressing the issue, despite knowing the current system is unsustainable.

President Park Geun-hye has asked civil servants to cooperate because the government would otherwise have to spend 10 billion won every day by next year to make up for the shortfall.

Tens of thousands of unionized workers, however, held rallies on this Labor Day to protest the proposal.

The task force is comprised of two government officials, three representatives of civil servants and four experts chosen by the ruling and opposition parties.
(Yonhap)

 

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