Back To Top

1 in 3 poor people stays out of social security net: study

One in 3 low-income people in South Korea don't benefit from the country's income security systems, a study said Wednesday, calling for their reform or new plans.

Nearly 36 percent of South Koreans in the poor class didn't bask in any of the country's five social security systems as of 2015, including the state pension program and unemployment benefits, according to the study by Kang Shin-wook, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs.


The study is based on a survey of people aged 18 or older on the country's welfare situation. It defined those in the poor class as people whose income was less than 50 percent of the nation's median household income.

It also estimated those in the poor class at 19.5 percent of South Korea's 50 million population.

"About 35 percent of the total population are not protected by any of the five income security systems," Kim said. "That means there is room for improvement in terms of their inclusiveness."

The study also showed the social security schemes were out of reach for 57.3 percent of working-age people aged 18 to 64, who were employed for six months or shorter per annum.

About 22 percent of the nation's long-term poor, who belong to the poor class for three years running and amount to 13 percent of the population, were unable to benefit from any of the five social security systems, it added.

In light of their low inclusiveness, Kim said, there is a need to upgrade the current income security systems or craft new ones in order to better protect people in poverty. (Yonhap)