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Military pension contributions rise, payouts frozen

The Defense Ministry is seeking to make a revision to a law governing the military pension system that would eventually increase pay-ins while keeping payouts at the current level, officials said Tuesday.

The revision is aimed at repairing the military pension system as it struggles with chronic deficits because more money is needed to meet payouts for a growing number of retired military officers and non-commissioned officers while fewer active officers pay in, officials said.

However, the revision put forward by the ministry is contrasted with a move by the government to help ensure the financing of a pension system for public officials by increasing pension payments and cutting payouts.

In a statement, the ministry defended its move, saying the “specialty” of military service was reflected on the decision to keep payouts at the current level.

“The specialty of military service and stability of retired soldiers are taken into consideration,” the ministry said.

For instance, the retirement age of military personnel is relatively lower than that of public officials and retired military officers find it more difficult to seek new jobs, ministry officials said.

The ministry plans to submit the revised military pension bill to the National Assembly for approval, it said.

Under the revised proposal, active officers and non-commissioned officers will be required to pay 7 percent of their monthly income into the military pension system, compared with the current payment rate of 5.5 percent.

Also, pension benefits will be linked to fluctuations of consumer prices, it said. 

(Yonhap News)
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