Nat’l pension anticipated to be fully drained in 2055: NPS

South Korea's state pension operator said Friday its fund is anticipated to be depleted in 2055 should the country maintain the current system amid the critically low birth rates and the aging population.

The fund is also set to post a shortfall starting in 2041, according to the latest projection released by the National Pension Service (NPS).

In 2018, the NPS expected the fund to post a deficit starting in 2042, before reaching depletion in 2057.

The adjustment came as South Korea has been struggling with its critically low birth rates.

Over the January-November period of 2022, a total number of 231,863 babies were born, down 4.7 percent from a year earlier, separate data released by Statistics Korea showed earlier this week.

Its total fertility rate -- the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime -- came to just 0.79 in the third quarter. It was far below 2.1 that would keep the country's population stable at 51.5 million.

The value of the fund operated by the NPS, estimated at 915 trillion won (US$741.7 billion) in October 2022, is expected to peak at 1,755 trillion won in 2040, the operator added. The amount is below 1,778 trillion won estimated in 2018.

The government plans to announce a report including various scenarios for the future of the fund in March, and come up a detailed plan for the operation of the pension in October.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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