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Park's aide for political affairs quits over pension reform

All Headlines 15:17 May 18, 2015

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's top aide for political affairs quit Monday due to little progress in reforming the public employee pension system, a South Korean official said.

Cho Yoon-sun, senior secretary for political affairs, tendered the resignation to "take heavy responsibility for a failure" to meet Park's expectation in reforming the pension for civil servants, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.

Park accepted the resignation offer, Min said.

Cho said the pension reform is designed not to leave behind a legacy of debt for future generations, though she said the political community disappointed the public over attempts to link the pension reform to the national pension plan.

She said the pension reform for civic servants is an issue that the rival parties "should have approached regardless of their political advantages or disadvantages."

The resignation came days after top presidential and ruling party officials held a meeting and voiced support for a recent bipartisan deal on the public employee pension system.

The deal would require, among other things, public officials pay more while in service and receive less after retirement.

Still, the rival parties failed to endorse the bill on reforming the public employee pension system due to differences over possible changes in the benefits in the national pension plan.

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy demands that benefits from the national pension plan be increased to cover 50 percent of pre-retirement income from the previous 40 percent in return for passing the bill on the public employee pension system.

The ruling Saenuri Party has rejected the opposition's demand.


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