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National pension fund's total assets exceed 700 tr won

The total assets under management by South Korea's state pension fund exceeded the 700 trillion won ($596 billion) mark for the first time three decades after its birth, data showed Monday.

The milestone comes 31 years after Asia's fourth-largest economy launched the income support program with its assets being equivalent to 37 percent of the country's gross domestic product, according to the data compiled by the National Pension Service, the fund's operator.


As of Friday, the fund's assets stood at 701.2 trillion won, up 62.4 trillion won from the end of 2018.   

The size of the pension has grown exponentially from just 530 billion won at the start to exceed 100 trillion won in 2003, hit the 300 trillion won level in 2010 and surpass 500 trillion won in 2015.

The investment return rate of one of the world's major investors stood at 6.81 percent as of April, with the cumulative return rate since 1988 standing at 5.4 percent.

Since its launch, the NPS has earned 337.3 trillion won from managing the fund.

The NPS said that while its earnings reached 41.2 trillion won in 2017, it posted a loss of 6 trillion won last year amid intensifying trade disputes between the United States and China, and tough financial market conditions.

Due to the country's rapidly aging population requiring larger payouts, the pension fund could start logging losses in 2042, the NPS said. (Yonhap)