The purpose of this study is to analyze the Korean social security systems, and propose direction for their expansion and development.
As the basic national requirements for social security were satisfied to a certain extent with the economic growth of the last 20 years, as well as the recent trend of stabilization of international surplus, Korea currently has favorable conditions for the expansion of social security. However, considering the history of social security abroad, expansion of social security payments that exceed the limit of financial supply may worsen financial difficulties. Therefore, the expanded implementation of social security systems in Korea may not be optimal.
Social security is usually defined as the systematic protection of individuals from risk or economic instability, as a responsibility of the state and society. Its purpose is to minimize social and economic inequality by preventing and eliminating the factors that worsen living conditions, and also improve fairness, stability, and efficiency among the population.
It is not sufficient to concentrate efforts merely on implementation and expansion of social security systems, and a effort should be made to include strategies for the development of private insurance systems to support the social security payment levels, strengthen income redistribution, support long-term financial stabilization, improve the national economy, give consideration to demographic sociological factors, and supplement of laws and regulations.
Some of the primary functions of social security systems include in-group risk diffusion and income redistribution. In terms of group risk diffusion, the social security system is more efficient than the private insurance system, in terms of costs and minimizing uncertainties. Social security should be significantly expanded and provided adequate support to maximize the efficiency of social security funding.
Although social security systems may redistribute the income, not all social security expansion policies are advantageous politically, due to their financial burden. Also, increased benefits do not directly alleviate negative factors like unwillingness to work, low saving rates, and expansion of basic needs. The political climate of the government is influential in the organization of social security finance; if the government is capitalistic, costs paid by insured individuals will increase, while, if the government is social-democratic, the nation’s, population’s, and beneficiaries’ burdens will be increased.
In order to establish social security systems based on a range of social development policies, the following should be taken into consideration: First, a national organization is required to plan and adjust social security systems, and public and private payments for social security should be analyzed for performance. Second, social security systems require national agreement on cost-bearing among generations and should improve the working capability of the people, as well as provide employment opportunities in both the short- and long-term. Third, the discrepancy between large cities and rural areas should be able to be reduced, and investment should be made towards distributing benefits to the whole of the population. Fourth, with the establishment of social security systems, social risks related to unemployment, illness, and the wellbeing of the elderly should be reduced. Social security systems should be improved in terms of their guarantee of minimum living standards. Fifth, as damage to the environment is significantly increased with population growth, urbanization, and industrialization, a clean and living environment should be developed through the improvement of housing, expansion of leisure facilities, and measures against pollution.
These strategies should be pursued so that their benefits can be widely distributed. Social security systems must be prioritized, and granted the greatest possible funding as a precondition of adequate income redistribution.
사회보장제도의 정책과제와 발전방향(Political tasks and direction of development of social security systems)
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Social Welfare|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|