South Korea's Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said on Monday that the South Korean government will reduce, defer or waive payments into the four social insurance systems to help those suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We expect to defer social insurance payments worth a total of around 6.1 billion U.S. dollars and waive payments of around 735 million dollars."
Regarding national health insurance, those in the 20-to-40-percent income bracket will get a discount of 30 percent on their payments from March to May.
Those below the 20th percentile get half off already.
As for the national pension, the government will defer payments for March to May for 3 months for anyone who has seen a drop in their income. Those who want a deferral just need to apply by April 15th.
As for employment insurance, the government will defer March to May payments for 3 months for small businesses with fewer than 30 people. Applications are due by May 10th.
Lastly, for industrial accident insurance, businesses with fewer than 30 employees and the self-employed are eligible for 30 percent off the March to August payments. They can also defer their March to May payments by 3 months.
The government says these measures do not require any legal changes, so they can take effect quickly.
Meanwhile, the labor ministry also announced on Monday measures to support employees of small businesses who have been put on unpaid leave.
The government will pay them about 400 dollars a month for up to 2 months starting in April.
The government estimates that this measure can benefit around 500-thousand people.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.