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Raising the Mandatory Retirement Age

It is predicted that by the year 2050, one-third of the Korean population will be comprised by people over the age of 65. Along with this, half of the country’s workforce will be over 50 years of age. Korea’s aging population may have a big impact on the country’s labor force in the coming decades, and an amendment that requires employers to guarantee employment up to the age of 60 was made.

Many are pleased by the change. They anticipate its full-blown implementation in 2017. However, some say that retiring at 60 is still too early. They want the age limit to be raised to 65 or higher.

These people emphasize that the average life expectancy of Koreans is around 81 to 82 years old. If the mandatory retirement age is set at 60 years old, what would happen to people who live for 20 more years? Where would they get monetary support? It would surely be difficult for them to find another job considering that all companies are required to follow the 60-year-old age limit.

Having a mandatory retirement age without more specific plans for retirees makes the amendment insufficient. The mandatory age of 60 would have been acceptable if giving more subsidies or pensions for retirees were also concretized.

They add that an employee’s retirement should not be based on his or her age but on one’s ability to perform well for a company. If a person is still able to do his or her job well at the age of 75, then he or she should be allowed to continue working.

On the other hand, supporters of the 60-year-old age limit say that a high life expectancy rate doesn’t necessarily indicate that the entire population is fit to work until they are over 70 or 80 years old. The mandatory retirement age should not be based on a country’s life expectancy rate.

Moreover, studies reveal that early retirement can relieve people from work-related stress, helping them improve their mental and physical health. They also become mobile as they are no longer tied up with any work-related commitment. They are able to relax and unwind, which are highly recommended for their advancing age.

For some people, setting the mandatory retirement age at 60 years old is acceptable because people should not dedicate their entire lives to their jobs. They say that after the age of 60, they should just enjoy the fruits of their labor or maybe find new hobbies and interests.

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questions

Summary:

By the year 2017, the mandatory retirement age for employees in Korea will be at 60 years old. People have different opinions about this stage, especially considering the high life expectancy rate of the country’s population. Some are calling for the age limit to be raised. Do you agree with this?

Pros

1. The average life expectancy of Koreans is around 81 to 82 years old.
2. The amendment does not include more concretized subsidies and pension plans for retirees.
3. Retirement should be based on one's ability to work and not the age.

Cons

1. The mandatory retirement age should not be based on a country’s life expectancy rate.
2. Early retirement can help improve people's mental and physical health.
3. People should not dedicate their entire lives to their jobs.

vocabularies

full-blown 전면적인, 완전히 발달된/ 

mandatory 의무적인/ 

amendment 법 등의 개정/ 

concretized 구체화된/ 

mobile 이동하는/ 

unwind 긴장을 풀다/

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