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- (1) General coverage criteria
- General coverage criteria for the National Pension are age and residence; income is not included. Accordingly, all residents in Korea from 18 to less than 60 years of age, regardless of their income, are covered under the scheme. Foreigners from 18 to less than 60 years of age residing in Korea are covered under the scheme, except special cases (refer to “Foreigners and the Lump-sum Refund”).
- (2) Who are excluded from the coverage of the scheme?
- Those falling under any of the following items are excluded from coverage, even if they satisfy the general coverage criteria.
- Government employees, military personnel, private school teachers, and employees of specially
designated post offices (they are covered under their own pension plans.)
- National pension beneficiaries aged from 55 to less than 60 (an early old-age
pensioner and old-age pensioner, such as a miner or fisherman)
- (3) Exceptional cases
- Anyone aged less than 18 and working at a workplace covered under the National Pension Scheme may participate in the scheme as a Workplace-based Insured Person with the consent of his/her employer.
In addition, an Insured Person with an insured period of more than 1 month, who has reached the age of 60 but wants to contribute more to be entitled to an old-age pension or to be paid more pension, can apply to be covered under the scheme by the date he/she reaches 65.
- Insured Persons under the National Pension Scheme are largely divided into Mandatorily and Voluntarily Insured Persons. Mandatorily Insured Persons are further divided into Workplace-based Insured Persons and Individually Insured Persons. These two groups are different in that the contributions of Workplace-based Insured Persons are equally shared between employers and employees.
On the other hand, those who participate in the scheme voluntarily are divided into Voluntarily Insured Persons and Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons.
Voluntarily Insured Persons are subject to the general coverage criteria (age and residence). Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons are not subject to the general coverage criteria, but may participate in the scheme and extend their insured period.
- (1) Workplace-based Insured Persons
- The contributions of Workplace-based Insured Persons are equally shared between employers and employees. Acquisition and loss of insured status and payment of contributions are conducted by the employer. All employees and employers from 18 to less than 60 years of age shall mandatorily be Workplace-based Insured Persons, if they are working at a workplace with one or more employees. Those aged less than 18 working at a workplace covered under the National Pension Scheme may participate in the scheme with the consent of the employer.
- (2) Individually Insured Persons
- The contributions of Individually Insured Persons are paid by the insured person. Acquisition and loss of insured status are conducted by themselves. A person who is subject to the general coverage criteria, but is not a Workplace-based Insured person, nor a Voluntarily Insured Person, becomes an Individually Insured Person, when he/she falls under one of the following categories;
- The self-employed
- Non-income earners aged 27 or older
- Non-income earners and are between the ages of 18 and 27 who have paid at least one month's contribution
- (3) Voluntarily Insured Persons
- Voluntarily Insured Persons are not subject to mandatory coverage, but acquire insured status by their own application, and they have to bear all of their contributions by themselves. All Voluntarily Insured Persons are allowed to be covered with the median, or higher, value of the Standard Monthly Income of all Workplace-based and Individually Insured Persons, except for those protected under the National Basic Living Security Act. A person falling under any of the following categories may become a Voluntarily Insured Person.
- Non-income earning spouse of those covered under public pension schemes or a public pensioner;
Public pension schemes include National Pension, Government Employees’ Pension, Military
Personnel Pension,Private School Teachers’ Pension, and Specially Designated Post Office Employees’
- Non-income earner who is less than 27 and has never paid any pension contributions
- Persons protected under the National Basic Living Security Act
- Retired government employees (military personnel, private school teachers and staff
and specially designated post office employees) entitled to Government Employees’ Pension
(Military Personnel, Private School Teachers, and Specially Designated Post Office Employees’
- (4) Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Person
- A current or formerly insured person loses his/her insured status upon reaching 60 years of age. But those who want to contribute more to make the minimum insured period for an Old-age Pension or a larger pension amount may continue to participate in the scheme upon their application.
An insured person or formerly insured person, including foreigners who have reached 60 years of age, or special occupation employees, such as miners or fishermen under the age of 60, entitled to an old-age pension, can be a Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Person.
※ A person falling under any of the following categories cannot apply to be a Voluntarily &
Continuously Insured Person.
- A person paid a lump-sum refund due to reaching the age of benefit payment or disqualification of
voluntarily & continuously insured status
- A person who has never paid any of his/her contributions or is exempt from making payments for the
whole of his/her insured period (the former person can apply to be a Voluntarily & Continuously
Insured Person after making a contribution payment.)
- An old-age pension beneficiary who had applied for an Old-age Pension
Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons include Voluntarily & Continuously Workplace-based Insured Persons, Voluntarily & Continuously Individually Insured Persons, and Other Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons.
Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons pay all of their contributions by themselves. The income criteria for Workplace-based Insured Persons are applied to Voluntarily & Continuously Workplace-based Insured Persons. Voluntarily & Continuously Individually Insured Persons are subject to the criteria for Individually Insured Persons. Other Voluntarily & Continuously Insured Persons are under the criteria for Voluntarily Insured Persons.