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The 5th AgeTalk – HelpAge Korea

Date: 12 October 2015
Venue: Unesco Hall, Seoul, Republic of Korea


HelpAge International, HelpAge Korea and the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRC) held the 5thAgeTalk on October 12th, 2015 at Unesco Hall.

The rankings of the Republic of Korea in the Global AgeWatch Index have been a hot issue due to its low status compared to the country’s high economic level. The event was prepared to discuss the reality of the current welfare level of Korean older people and global and Korean social pension system in terms of human rights of older persons.


Mr. Toby Porter, CEO of HelpAge International, explained the purpose and meaning of the Global AgeWatch Index including the result of Korea.

Professor Hye-ji Choi from Social Welfare division of Seoul Women’s University presented ‘The implementation of the Global AgeWatch Index result to Korea’. Utilizing domestic statistics results, Prof. Choi emphasized that the result of the index is not far from the reality of Korean older people’s life.

Ms. Usa Khiewrod, the Regional Programme Manager of East Asia Pacific Regional Office of HelpAge International addressed the importance of social pensions as income security in old age should be a concern of all ages not about vulnerable group only, and social security in old age is a human right.

Professor Eun-sun Ju from Social Welfare division of Kyunggi University pointed out how the social pension schemes of Korea should be developed and the most urgent issue of Korean social pension scheme is to delinkage with National Pension and Basic Pension.

Agendas for the future from the 5th AgeTalk:

  • The amount of Basic Pension of Korea should be reached to the relevant level to live
  • The government should guarantee all the medical expenses of older persons as the major expenditure of Korean older people are spending their money on health care
  • Expansion of the coverage of medical insurance can deliver greater benefits than increasing incomes of older persons


Lastly, Mr. Porter kindly asked to members of Older People’s Self-Help Group who were participated at the event, and said to the audiences “You will become older someday like these amazing ladies. Old age is all our business!”