The number of South Korean recipients of "early state pension" decreased in 2016, data showed Monday, as more senior citizens opted for the regular benefit program to ensure they get a meaningful income later on in life.
According to the data by the National Pension Service, the number of people receiving the early pension came to 36,614 in 2016, compared to 43,447 in 2015.
The early state pension program was introduced to guarantee income for senior citizens up to five years earlier than norm.
Instead of the regular pension program, those applying for the early program can receive benefits from age 55, although this entails a reduction in pension benefits by 6 percent annually.
The NPS attributed the decrease to South Korea becoming an aged society and more people are choosing to get a steady income as late as possible.
South Korea's share of senior citizens reached 13.1 percent of the country's population of 50.62 million in 2015. A country is defined as an "aged society" if more than 14 percent of the population are 65 or older. (Yonhap)