Pension Payouts in Korea

Category : Career/Business / Visa/Legal Issues/Tax
Nov 28, 2014

Lump-Sum Payout Eligibility


According to the NPS, lump sum refunds are usually not given to foreigners and especially if they remain in the country. However, lump sum payouts are given when the foreigner departures to his/her home country, die or reach 60 years old. At this point, you will receive one large sum of money including all the money from your first to your last contribution and the fixed interest gained over that period.


There are some restrictions about which nationality allows lump-sum payments. The following is a chart showing which countries are eligible for a lump-sum refund and under what conditions. If your country is not listed you are unable to receive a lump-sum payout.


Visa Status in which lump sum refund is given regardless of nationality

Nationals with a security pact between their government and the Korean government

Nationals whose own governments give lump-sum payouts to Koreans living abroad

Lump sum given when person has contributed for over 6 months

Lump sum given when person has contributed for over 1 year

Lump sum given when person has contributed for over 1 year

Lump sum given regardless of contribution period

E-8 (employment for training)


E-9 (non-professional employment)


H-2 (visiting employment)



Czech Republic















Saint Vincent and the grenadines
















Sri Lanka



El Salvador







Trinidad and Tobago



Hong Kong


àNote: Nationals with a security pact between their government and the Korean government may receive a lump-sum payment upon departure or they may choose to receive a pension at 60 years old. The pension may be remitted to the pensioner in his/her home country. They may also choose to waiver the pension payments if they are already contributing to a pension in their home country. The English-speaking countries that are eligible to receive a pension payout are only Australia, Canada and the USA. Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK are not eligible to receive a pension payout.


Procedures to Receive your Lump-Sum Payout


To receive a lump-sum pension refund, you need to apply at the NPS office in your district. You may apply for your pension either while still in Korea (either at the NPS office or at the Incheon International Airport) or when you have reached your home country. It is also possible to apply for it from another country but you must be living there at the time.


Procedure in Korea

From the NPS Office

  1. You will receive your pension payout within a few weeks of arriving in your home country. The application will be processed after departure. It usually takes about two weeks. It will be sent to the bank account you provide.
  2. To apply, you must be departing the country within 30 days.
  3. You must have proof of departure (a hard copy of your airline ticket and receipt)
  4. You must bring:
    • Your ARC card
    • Your passport
    • The lump-sum application form (downloaded at the NPS website or from the NPS district office)
    • A copy of the banking information from the bank in which you want the money to be deposited (most likely your home bank)
    • Departure details and a copy of your ticket


From Incheon International Airport

It is also possible to receive your pension payment at the airport on the day of your departure. It will be given in cash.

  1. You must apply within 30 days of departure.
  2. Your employer must send a disqualification report to the NPS district office at least one day prior to your departure.
  3. You may only collect your money at the airport between Monday and Friday from 11:00 to 24:00
  4. First, you must visit a NPS district office with the following documents to receive a filing receipt to be shown at the airport:
    • A lump-sum application form: check airport payment;
    • Your ARC card;
    • Your passport;
    • Departure details and a copy of your ticket; and
    • A copy of your banking information (see note).


Follow these steps when you arrive at the airport:

  1. When you arrive at the airport first go to the Incheon Airport office (hours: 9:00-17:00) and give them the filing receipt, your passport and your airline ticket (departing that day). You will receive a paper called the “Direction for Payment of Lump-sum Refund”.
  2. Go to the Shinhan Bank International Branch (hours: 9:00-17:30) in the airport. Give them the “Direction for Payment of Lump-sum Refund” and your passport. They will give you a “Receipt of Currency Exchange”.
  3. Take the “Receipt of Currency Exchange”, the “Direction for Payment of Lump-sum Refund” and your passport to the Shinhan Bank Currency Exchange Booth (hours: 9:00-21:00). They will give you your money!


àNote: Make sure to include your home bank account information on the application you give to the NPS office. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to lose your money.


Procedure from Your Home Country

You may apply for your lump-sum payout by mail from your home country within five years of leaving Korea.

  1. You must mail:
    • The lump-sum application form( it must be notarized in your home country and then confirmed by the Korean embassy);
    • A copy of your passport; and
    • A copy of your banking information/bank book registered in your name.


Procedure from another Country

You may apply for your lump-sum payout by mail from another country where you reside, but the process is more difficult. In this case, you will be allowing a Korean person to receive the lump-sum payout on your behalf. Then it will be sent to you.

  1. You must mail:
    • A letter of attorney stating that you entrust the Korean agent to receive your pension on your behalf;
    • A copy of your passport;
    • A lump-sum application form: be sure to fill out the ‘application of agent’ section;
    • A copy of your ID from the country in which you live; and
    • A copy of your banking information/bank book registered in your name.

All of these documents must be notarized and confirmed by the Korean embassy in that country



  1. Phone: 02-2176-8700 (English, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Indonesian) or 1355 (Korean), open weekdays 8:00-19:00
  2. NPS Website (English)
  3. There are 18 NPS District Offices in Seoul and one in every city in Gyeonggi province. Please refer to the contact details for exact locations.
    • Branch Office Hours: 9:00-17:00
  4. NPS International Center
  • Address: 22nd Floor, Kukdong Bldg., 60-1, Chungmuro 3-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea, 100-705



Tags : Pension. Contract. Payout.

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.