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High-income earners dodge national pension subscription

The NPS headquarters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province (Yonhap)
The NPS headquarters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province (Yonhap)
The amount of national pension premiums unpaid by high income-earners in South Korea totaled nearly 1 trillion won ($871 million) as of June this year, data showed Wednesday.

According to a report from the National Pension Service submitted to the ruling Democratic Party Rep. Jung Choun-sook, a total of 198,399 high earners left their subscription fees to the state-run pension program unpaid, up around 20,000 from six months earlier.

Of the accumulated amount, only 6.5 percent, or 71.33 billion won was collected so far, the data showed.

By occupation, 547 entertainers and 1,492 star athletes avoided paying a total of 3.21 billion won and 7.86 billion won of pension premiums, respectively.

The state pension program, regarded as a quasi-tax obligation, is designed to serve as a social safety net, with low earners receiving bigger benefits relative to their payments than those on high incomes.

By Jie Ye-eun (
Korea Herald Youtube