Working and Business > Korea National Pension Scheme

General Pension Information

All foreign employees between 18 and 60 years-of-age are obligated to pay into the National Pension Scheme, with the following exceptions:
- Those whose country does not mandatorily cover Korean citizens under its pension scheme. See list.of countries on this K4E page.
- Foreigners who are not registered under the Immigration Act, or to whom the forced deportation order has been issued under the same Act, or who are staying in Korea without being permitted to extend their term of stay.
- Among the registered foreigners under Immigration Act, those whose stay status falls under any of the followings; culture & art, studying abroad, industrial training, general training, religion, visiting & living together and others.
- People excluded from the mandatory coverage of National Pension Scheme, by the social security agreement.

For information on salary deductions, click here.

Foreign Insured Persons and National (Korean citizens) Insured Persons are treated equally under the National Pension Scheme  For example, there is no discrimination in terms of the benefit amount and remitting benefit abroad, etc. But there is a certain distinction in regarding Lump-sum Refund. Foreign employees, with the exception of those listed below, are not refunded their pension contributions when they leave the country. However, those falling in the following categories will be paid a lump-sum refund: 
- People whose country grants Koreans a benefit corresponding to Lump-sum Refund under the National Pension Scheme.
- People whose country concludes a social security agreement with Korea to secure benefit right by totalling Insured period in each country.

For a list of the specific countries excluded from paying into the pension scheme or eligible for the lump-sum refund, click this K4E page or on the NPS site.

NPS Central Information Line: 'dial' 1355 (English-speaker usually)

Editor's Note: The information above is based on the information available at the time of writing. Given how difficult it is to obtain clear and complete information in Korea as well as how quickly regulations 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 K4E would appreciate your feedback should you find out that our information is out-of-date.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 2013-07-28

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