Working and Business > Korea National Pension Scheme

Pension Refund When In Korea

Pension Refund When In Korea

Application for Lump-Sum Pension Refun for Foreign Worker Still in Korea:
Foreign workers who have contributed to the National Pension Scheme and who are entitled to a lump-sum refund can apply for it prior to their departure from Korea by visiting their regional NPS office* and bringing with them the following documents.
Required documents
- An Application for Korean Benefits (The form is available in the regional offices and on-line.)
- a copy of your ID card
- your local bankbook.
- A copy of an airline ticket. (the date of departure has to be in less than a month from the date of the claim)
- If you are insured under other public pension schemes, a certificate of employment and a copy of a certificate of coverage should be presented.

*Addresses and Contact details for the Seoul and Regional NPS offices can be found on the National Pension Scheme website Click on Other Language (choice of English, Mandarin,Thai, Indonesian and Mongolian as of 206) - on the English Page click on the National Pension Service (green) tab and go to Contact Us. The Seoul offices will pop up first; for other regions click on the region on the map. 
When visiting the NPS office look for the sign that says "Kuk min yeon geum(국민연금)

Timing of refund payment depends on Pay Date:
Pension contributions are collected on the 10th of the month, so if your pay date is after that date, the final collection will be on the 10th of the following month, which means that your may not receive your refund until 2-3 weeks later. (see more in the personal experience below).

Receiving  your refund outside Korea:
The National Pension Service will send your refund to you if you will no longer be in Korea by the time it is processed. Feedback indicates that the NPS is very efficient and generally willing to facilitate the process as much as possible for foreign claimants.
To receive your refund abroad, in addition to the items above, and in lieu of a local bankbook, you should provide NPS with documented proof of your receiving bank account - can be a voided cheque, a copy of a bank statement, etc.
If you don't have documentation regarding your account, the NPS will also arrange to send your your refund by cheque to your address in your home country (or to that of a relative, etc).

Receiving payment if you have left the country by the time it has been processed:
1. You can fill out the Overseas Remittance Form. If the system is responsible for you not getting your refund prior to your departure, the NPS will pay the transfer fee, but you will have to pay the bank charge levied by the receiving bank.
2. If you have international access to your bank account (something you should arrange to have some time prior to your departure) you can withdraw the money from overseas.
3. you can arrange for the refund to be paid into the account of a lawyer who will then remit it to you (make sure you have documented this authorization).

NPS Central Information Line for Korean language speakers: 'dial' 1355 or  +82-63-73-6900
Information in English is available through or through your regional pension office (see telephone list here.)
Tto check your benefits including the lump-sum refund in English, call the Center for International Affairs on 02-2176-8700) or visit an NPS office with your identity card (see list of offices here - click on the region on the map for the offices in that region.)

For information on which country's citizens are eligible for a National Pension contributions refund and for current requirements for claiming the refund, see this page on the  NPS website (or click on the National Pension Plan green tab and then on Foreigners and the Lump-sum Refund

NPS Training Course provides information about the national pension scheme for foreign nationals. Counselling Centers have been opened in a number of NPS offices around the country. The NPS also offers some training off-site for those who cannot come to the service centers. Training is provided in 5-7 languages including English Mandarin, Thai,, Indonesian and Mongolian. For more details, click on this page on the NPS website or click on International Programs green tab and then on Training.  To apply contact the Center for International Affairs of the National Pension Service at Tel: +82-2-2176-8721, Fax: +82-2-3485-9803, or e-mail

Option to claim benefits rather than lump-sum refund:
A foreign worker (who is eligible) can opt to claim pension benefits later rather than take the lump-sum refund. However, those who have received the refund cannot later claim benefits.

One person's experience in Seoul:
Many of you asked me to report back about my experience at the pension office.  So, here goes…
To get to the Seoul office in my area…
Subway line no. 3 or 6, Bulgwang stop 322 or 612. Go out exit no.8. Walk straight to the first tall building on your right.  This building is Daehan Insurance Building.  The Pension Office is on the 3rd floor.  It is very easy to find.

What to bring…
Alien Registration Card,
Bank Name and Account Number (Bank Book),
Proof you are leaving the country (Plane Ticket),
You might also need your information for transferring money to your home country, so bring your routing number, bank name, bank address, and account number for that.

The situation…
The pension office collects pension on the 10th of each month.  So if your employer pays on the 15th for example, the pension office must wait until the following 10th to collect.  After they collect, it takes about 1-2 weeks for you to get your money.  For example, my last pay check was March 15th, but the pension collects on April 10th.  Therefore, they can refund my pension 1-2 weeks later, probably around the 26th of April. 

To collect…
If this is your situation and are still in the country all these weeks later, it’s especially simple to get your refun.  You just give them your account number here and they’ll put it in your account.  If you are not still in the country (as is my case), then you need to give them information to transfer money to your account in your home country.  They will take care of the fee for wiring the money if it is their fault that you can’t get the money before you leave (as is my case).  You must pay your own bank charges though.  They also are going to check that your account is in your name only. 

Editor's Note: The information above is based on the information K4E has available at the time of writing.(Some is from the NPS website). Given how difficult it can be sometimes to obtain clear and complete information in Korea as well as how quickly rules can change, please see this as a guide and do follow-up with the appropriate Korean government bodies to confirm its accuracy and/or to get the most current answers. K4E would appreciate your feedback should you find out that our information is out-of-date. Contact us at


Last Updated on 2016-05-21

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