Many foreigners working in South Korea pay a portion of their monthly salary into the National Pension Service. As with most paper work-related activity in Korea, the specific information, such as which countries participate in the program or their level of participation, varies.
Without intending to be the authority on who pays and who can collect the pension at the end of their contract, the basic premise is this:
- Some people (depending on the type of employee they are considered) pay into the National Pension Service.
- The school matches this pay, i.e., the employee pays 4.5% of their monthly wage and the employer pays 4.5%, equaling 9% of the employee’s monthly wage.
- Depending the employee’s nationality, they can, at the end of their contract, withdraw all 9%.
For example, someone earning a wage of 2.1 million KRW pays 94,500 every month. Over the course of a 12 month contract, they have payed 1,134,000. This is matched by the employer, and at the end of the contract, this person can recoup the entire sum (minus whatever fees or taxes apply).
To withdraw the pension, you need to go to the National Pension Service. There is a location both Changwon and Masan.
Bring the following with you:
- Your passport
- Your ARC card
- Proof that you are leaving Korea, e.g., a printed out plane ticket.
- Bank information of where the pension money will be sent, the same information needed when transfering money back home, e.g. bank book, SWIFT code, account info, address.
- This should have the name of your bank printed on it. It can be a check, but if you don’t have one, print out the first page of your internet banking page from home.
You can transfer the money to either a foreign or a Korean bank account. If you choose to transfer into a Korean bank account there are a few things to keep in mind. You still have to prove you are leaving the country, even if it is just for one day. In addition, the process requires several weeks to complete, as it requires the final paycheck to have been paid, as well as some processing time.You are not allowed to withdraw your pension if you are extending or changing contracts within Korea.
Several employees at the pension office speak English, but if you want more information ahead of time, consult Galbijim or The National Pension Service English website. The Changwon pension office phone number is 055-1355. The phone number for Masan is 055-290-4501~03 or 055-290-4511~18. The hours are from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
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Update: August 2014.
Jinhae now has a pension office. It is located in the new building (with the gym) directly next to Lotte cinema on the fourth floor.