An income below half that of the average income after retirement is regarded as poor. 45% of old aged people in Korea are in the privations of poverty. Compared to other countries, the seriousness is of this status is times 3. This can mean that the national retirement plan is not thoroughly planned, and the baby boomers that just faded into the time of retirement are facing a gloomy future.
The Baby boomers are those who were born between the end of World War 2 and the beginning of the 1960’s. Baby boomers are now currently facing financial problems such as taking care of their parents and children’s education. They are not ready to support either after retirement. The government took a proactive stance to solve the problem. It proposed plans to expand occupations and promote social participation. For example, for cases of major conglomerates, they have a legal obligation to provide retirees and lay-off workers support. However, are these plans working out to solve the issue?
The answer is ‘No’. From what I see, the ominous signs are not difficult to find in these retirement plans. Most occupations are not continuous and stable. Neither is the pay rate high enough to cover those disadvantages. This causes an unbalance between the increase of prices and the expenditure from the aging population. The profit they earn is very limited, whereas the expenditure for living and education is very unpredictable. The rise of price requires a change of expenditure pattern and it has become hard for them to deal with such problems. For those who only rely on annuity insurance, they will face bigger problems.
Moreover, the biggest problem they face is the ‘Retirement Fund’. Baby boomers are the ones who went through the hard times of financial instability and overcame those and put the Korean Industry into the lead. However, most of the profit they gained during these times has to be spent on their families. Especially, education expenses have taken up a great percentage of the expenditure since educational competition is very severe in Korea. To put it simply, they had not enough time and money to prepare a retirement fund. This has left baby boomers nothing but a house they can only live in.
What can be done to reduce the anxiety and pain of the baby boomers? Seeing from a perspective of reality, though what I can suggest is quite limited, a social enterprise should be established where only baby boomers or retirees can work. It could be a very welcoming sound to the entrepreneurs and the labor market where the graduates look for new jobs and as well as to the government; in times of welfare expenditure problems, since the social enterprise can have positive effects such as reduction in expenditure of baby boomers and increase of expenditure on other welfare areas. Moreover, putting them in the same work place will result in a huge development within the corporation. Experts from various fields and of long experience may assure a safe and productive capacity. If enough seed capital and spontaneous management plans can be reached, the social enterprise run by baby boomers will see a bright future.
Baby boomers are dying and need immediate care. Currently, a few are even considering suicide, and the suicide rate is steadily increasing. In times of an aging society, if baby boomers cannot find a place to stand by themselves, the rising generation and the Korean economic situation could step closer to the edge of an abyss.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >