Less than 40% of temps subscribe to pension

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Less than 40% of temps subscribe to pension

Fewer than 4 in 10 irregular, or temporary, workers in Korea benefit from the country’s state pension program, a much lower percentage than full-time employees, a report said Thursday.

Slightly over 36 percent of irregular workers had state pension subscriptions as of 2016 compared to 83 percent for regular workers, according to the report by the Korea Labor Institute.

Roughly 68 percent of all workers in the country had subscriptions to the pension scheme that was introduced in 1988 to guarantee income for the elderly after retirement and provide coverage for disabilities and surviving family members.

Some 45 percent of all irregular workers were covered by the state health insurance program, far lower than 86 percent for regular workers.

About 42 percent of irregular workers had employment insurance policies, compared to 75 percent for regular workers.

The report also showed the wage gap between regular workers and temps widening over the last 10 years. The monthly average wage of regular workers came to 2.79 million won ($2,490) in 2016, up 47 percent from a decade ago, with the figure for temps rising 25 percent to 1.49 million won.

The big differences between temps and regular workers in wages and safety net benefits are seen as laying bare the grim reality of workplace discrimination against irregular workers.

According to the latest government tally, irregular workers accounted for 32 percent of all employees in the country as of the end of March 2016.

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