Age defining ′seniors′ may increase from 65 to 70
노인 연령 기준 65－＞ 70세로 상향 추진. As the country struggles with a chronically low birthrate and rapidly aging population， the Korean government plans changing the official defining age of ″senior citizens″ from 65 to 70.
Lee Ji－won gives us the rationale behind this change.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Sunday it plans raising the official age defining ″senior citizens″ from 65 to 70 to help ease the burden of a projected steep increase in welfare costs in the next few years.
In 2000 the elderly population accounted for 7.2 percent of Korea′s total population and has jumped almost two－fold to 13.1 percent as of 2015.
If this growth trend continues， the government foresees the percentage of seniors surging to 37.4 percent by 2050.
Such a demographic shift means the elderly would comprise more than a third of the population requiring pensions. Meanwhile， the working－age population is forecast to shrink from 2016.
An increase in the average life expectancy to almost 80 years has further pressured the government to seek new measures to rein in the challenges presented by a rapidly aging population.
While the average retirement age now is 60， pensions are usually received at 65.
However， varying circumstances may see this figure increase.
According to the government， raising the defining age of senior citizens may help state coffers save about 2.3 billion U.S. dollars annually.
But some have raised concerns， protesting against the age change.
Critics say the living standards of underprivileged seniors may grow worse.
Lee Ji－won， Arirang News.
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