President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers a congratulatory speech during a commencement ceremony for new police officers at the Central Police Academy in Chungju, on Friday. (Yonhap)
President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed officials Friday to try to reach suprapartisan consensus on the pension reform drive so as to benefit vulnerable groups and improve the financial soundness of the national pension system.
Yoon made the call as he was debriefed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the ministry's plans for key agendas and initiatives, presidential spokesperson Kang In-sun said in a written briefing.
Revamping the national pension system is one of Yoon's three key reform agendas. Yoon has called for speedy reform of the pension system amid concerns it could dry up faster than expected due to rapid aging.
"I hope that cross-party and suprapartisan national consensus will be reached based on the detailed collection of opinions and detailed empirical data," Yoon was quoted as saying.
The health ministry said it will start the financial calculations for the national pension this month and plans to devise the reform plan, including the envisioned hike of the basic pension, and submit it to the parliament in the second half of next year.
Regarding the health insurance system, Yoon also called for the ministry to carry out bold reform in a way that would significantly reduce excessive spending, and reinforce the essential medical infrastructure and support for serious illnesses, according to Kang.
The government will also start introducing a selective monthly allowance for parents with infants aged one or younger from next year, before expanding it to the fullest in 2024, among other reform initiatives, according to the ministry.