News Life and Health23 May 2018

South Korea:Courts increasingly see 65 as retirement age

23 May 2018

With the average life expectancy increasing in South Korea, courts are increasingly recognising 65, instead of 60, as the retirement age for those engaged in physical work.

Until recently, courts have followed a Supreme Court precedent in 1989 that saw 60 as the retirement age for labourers, reports The Korea Herald.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled in favour of a traffic accident victim who appealed that he should receive more compensation as he could have worked until the age of 65 had it not been for the injury. A lower court had calculated the indemnity based on the assumption that he would have earned wages until the age of 60.

The appellate court ordered a federation of bus operators to pay KRW388.6 million won ($358,000) to the plaintiff whose spleen was ruptured and ribs were broken when his car collided with a bus. The plaintiff was 29 at the time of the accident.

The court said in its verdict that the average life expectancy in Korea reached 77.2 for men and 84 for women in 2010, and that many security guards and construction workers are in their 60s.

The court also noted how the age at which people can start receiving basic pension payments has been raised to 65.

It would be incongruent to say one can only work until the age of 60 when the state has officially excluded people below the age of 65 from the basic pension payment as they are believed to be capable of earning income, the court said.

Last December, the Suwon District Court acknowledged that a domestic helper could have worked until the age of 65.


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