South Korea's retirement pension market is expected to top 190 trillion won (US$179 billion) in 2020, helped by a law revision that promotes wider insurance coverage for retired employees, an industry report said Monday.
The data comes on the heels of the parliament's June approval of a law revision on retired employee benefits, which has been gathering dust since November 2008. The revised law aims to better protect retired employees' rights by tightening rules on early retirement benefits and increasing retirement pension coverage.
The country's retirement pension market, which stood at 29 trillion won in 2010, is projected to grow nearly seven-fold to 192 trillion won in 2020, according to the report by a think tank affiliated with Samsung Life Insurance Co., the country's leading life insurer.
The sharp growth will be fueled largely by the increase in individual retirement accounts (IRA). Employees covered by the IRA program are eligible to receive their pension after the age of 55, it said.
"The passage of the law revision paved the way for the growth of the local retirement pension market," said an official at the think tank.
South Korean insurers have been stepping up efforts to boost sales of retirement pension products as the country's population ages rapidly. The percentage of South Koreans older than 65 is forecast to reach 38.2 percent by 2050, the highest in the world, according to a report by the Korea Institute of Finance.