68.1% of older South Koreans want to work till 73

About 68.1% of South Koreans aged between 55 and 79 said they would want to work till an average age of 73, health permitting.
By: | July 30, 2021

This works out to about 10 million people out of the 14.76 million in this age bracket, an increase of 0.7 percentage point year-on-year in May, according to a Statistics Korea survey. 

As for why they wish to continue working, 58.7% said they want to continue earning their living expenses, while 33.2% said they want to feel the joy of work as long as their health permits. 

Those aged between 55 and 79 made up 32.8% of the 45 million people aged 15 and older as of end-May. 

The country has been experiencing low birthrates and, with a rise in life expectancy, challenges related to an ageing population. 

By 2025, South Korea is expected to become a super-aged society where the proportion of those aged 65 and older will be 20% of the total population. The country became an aged society in 2017 when the proportion of such people exceeded 14%. 

READ: South Korea battles unemployment woes

The issue on whether to increase the retirement age, currently set at 60, has become a hotly debated topic due to the growing need to address a major drop in the workforce in the coming years. But the government remains cautious about the extension of the retirement age, possibly to 65, citing the need to build a social consensus, according to Yonhap.