Monday, August 31, 2009

On Pensions and Healthcare

Here's the question:

I heard there is a number that we can call to check to see if our hagwons are taking out the right amount of money for the pension and to make sure they are taking it out! Also, if you have an ARC card does that automatically mean you have health coverage? My friend works for a school that was saying they weren't going to register for the pension which I think means she will not have health coverage. If you have info or a number I can call to confirm this that would be great!

First of all, you've gotta keep every pay stub that your employer gives you. If they don't give you one, then demand it. Once you've worked for a few months, then you can start comparing deductions to make sure they're being honest. Always be organized and stay on top of anything related to money. Not only will it help you avoid any potential problems, but it keeps the school in check for future teachers as well.

Depending on nationality, your employer is forced to pay into your pension. The amount, of course, depends on your salary. You won't be able to call the pension office and get private information on the phone, but you can go there with your passport and ARC. Just take a look at the Pension Office website for location details.

You have insurance. Having your ARC doesn't give you health coverage automatically, but it does suggest that your school is officially sponsoring your visa which gives you government insurance. Paying into insurance isn't an option. As a tax-paying citizen, you have to pay into it. The pension has nothing to do with health insurance. Your friend needs to talk to the school and get their insurance card (it looks like a book). That should be easy enough. If they refuse then something is wrong and a call to the Labor Board should clear that up.


The Expat said...

The questioner sent me a follow-up email:

"my friend was sick her first week of school and paid cash for her hospital visit. I read on the national health page that she will get reimbursed and that health coverage should start the day you are to start work. but her boss is lagging on the issue because she doesnt want to pay taxes for her and she needs to get the health coverage to get her money back from her hospital visit. ahahaha! I hope that makes sense! can you ring the labour board if the boss refuses to give you a pay stub?"

I responded:

You can call the Labor Board for any reason and pay stubs are something that should be extremely important to everyone. Again, health care contribution is mandatory under Korean law. If you recieve one single paycheck and insurance isn't docked, then there's a problem. Call the Labor Board or Immigration and get that settled now.

Chris in South Korea said...

The number for the pension office is 1355 - it would help to have a Korean friend call for you, but asking if they speak English (yeong-eo ha-se-yo?) is wise as well.

The amount should be a specific amount of your salary (4.77% as of when I wrote about it back in May). There's also some more information at

The Expat said...

Thanks for the extra info, Chris.

I Love English Colombia said...

Question for you, Is my step-son, the son of my wife, eligible for an F3 dependent family visa in S. Korea, assuming I will be issued an E2?

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