Thursday, February 25, 2010

South Korea: Government To Seek to Encourage Earlier Retirement to Boost Younger Workers

Writing in the JoongAng Daily, Jung Ha-won reports that the South Korean government is intensifying pressure on state-run companies to shed more employees before they hit retirement age to open the door for younger workers. part of its efforts to prop up the job market. The Finance Ministry is expected to unveil guidelines to discourage state-run enterprises from taking advantage of the current system to keep all their older workers on the payroll, instead of keeping only a select few senior workers deemed absolutely necessary.
“Extending the retirement age for all employees can block new employment opportunities for youth and deal a blow to the labor market,” said one Finance Ministry official who declined to be named. “We are preparing guidelines to fend off thoughtless attempts to extend retirement ages.”
In a related story, Cho Jin-seo, writing for Korea Times, reports that government is against state-run firms' moves to extend the retirement age and that the government will introduce detailed guidelines to discourage such measures.

Sources: JoongAng Daily "Gov’t to tighten older worker policy" (February 25, 2010); Korea Times "Seoul Opposes Extension of Retirement Age" (February 23, 2010)

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