Tuesday, 21 December 2010

When your pension isn't really your pension

Not surprisingly, because it happened twice before, my observation was delayed due to my manager having a meeting yesterday. I will now be watched next Tuesday which probably works out better for me because I can have a trial run of what I'll be teaching on the Monday.

At work though I was met with more news. The foreign teachers all received a letter from the National Pension Service - A guide to the National Pension for Foreigners. The letter included information on how much you and your employees have paid so far, how to claim this and other stuff.

For the record, I have known that I will not be getting any of this money since 2005 when I first started teaching in Korea. This is because my country, the UK does not have a pensions agreement with South Korea. I don't know why but it doesn't. Other countries that supply teachers here such as Canada and the United States all have agreements that mean everything paid in goes back to the teacher when they leave. In some cases double the amount. A quick glance at the list of those countries that do have agreements and Hungary, Slovakia and Romania jump out.

After yet another search on the internet to check whether or not things have changed it seems clear that this is dead money and I will never see it again in my life. It would appear that I cannot even transfer this money into a pension in the UK. After working here for a while I have paid a significant amount that would be a godsend if I ever saw it again. A conservative estimate is that it would be five months rent for the place I want to live when I go back home.

Even though I have known this for a while, when you see exactly how much money is there for you but you can't claim it it feels pretty sickening. I'm still full of Christmas cheer though and and going to reach for a beer right now to prove it.


조안나 said...

My British friend said you could transfer it to your British pension account... and claim it when you retire... is that not the case? I'm an american, i've never had to investigate this on my own...

Talking to myself said...

I'd been led to believe that I too could claim it back when I retire but as most people of my generation believe there will be no state pension when we retire I wrote this off mentally

After doing some internet research everything is contradictory - wow, haven't I heard that before when I've done research about official things in Korea. I will be surprised if I can claim it back but will do some more research before I leave here. Why can't life be less complicated?

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