>   Future Research   >   Future Reports   >   Research Reports

Research Reports

The National Assembly Futures Institute publishes reports that predict and analyze the changes in the future environment based on a comprehensive perspective, and derive mid- to long-term national development strategies in consideration of the preferences of the citizens
(21-09) Reviewing strategies for adapting to low birth rates and an aging society

Date : 2021-12-31 item : Research Report 20-09 P.I : Lee Chae-jeong

(21-09) Reviewing strategies for adapting to low birth rates and an aging society

This report reviewed strategies that could be adopted in response to the low birth rates and an increasingly aging society, and which could be adjusted by policy type. It also explores plans to rebuild delivery systems based on the main contents of the National Assembly Futures Institute's reports, “Comparison and analysis of demographic structure and social expansion in OECD countries” and “Evaluation of response policies for low birth rates and an aging society.” The implications associated with adopting strategies that can be adapted to low birth rates and an aging society by policy type are as follows.

First, the income security policy needs to identify ways to reform the current child allowance and basic pension system to reflect changes in the demographic structure. It is necessary to discuss areas where the level of support is insufficient when compared to advanced countries, and it is important to highlight the need to expand these supports, as they provide insufficient income security. It is also essential to resolve the burden of local expenses and review the effectiveness of the variable subsidy system.

Second, in the area of health care policies, various strategies were discussed by dividing young people and the elderly into different target groups. Health care policies for young people were examined and found to focus on mental health support policies. Youth mental health policies were mostly aimed toward mental illness prevention and early diagnosis, so multidimensional approaches to solving problems are insufficient. With respect to mental illness prevention, concerns about fundamental problems should precede early diagnosis. Access to the interlayered crisis structure faced by young people has not yet been sufficiently achieved, and active linkages with economic, labor, and housing policies are expected after fully considering the socioeconomic situation of young people.

Health care policies for the elderly that focused on aging in place (AIP) were examined. AIP has been proposed as a new long-term care model with the development of the concept of deinstitutionalization and communitybased care. It has emerged as a key concept in the policies on aging in various countries. Long-term care insurance for the elderly in Korea also proposes AIP in policy and aims to establish home care benefits as a priority. To ensure continuous AIP, it is necessary to design a system that considers the situations faced by the elderly together with financial sustainability.

Third, discussions on the educational care policy pertained to its efficient future implementation. Although the number of policy targets continues to decline, it is necessary to derive policy improvement tasks for the efficient and effective operation of childcare systems, particularly given that the number of previously established care service providers or personnel such as childcare teachers, kindergarten teachers, and after-school care providers has not changed. Regarding the financial resources of the childcare system, it is necessary to adjust the amount of financial resources available in situations where low birth rates continue, as current financial grants for local education secure financial resources regardless of changes in the demographic structure.

Fourth, the job policy discussions focused on job policy strategies for middle and old-aged people. The government's desire to create jobs requires continuous management to prevent jobs from being concentrated in the public or social service sectors, rather than in the private sector, to prevent the mass production of low-wage, short-term jobs. The increase in local governments participating in senior job programs, as well as the increase in the number of applicants, are encouraging. However, to accommodate as many applicants as possible under budget constraints, it is more likely that public or social service jobs centered on low-wage short-term contracts will be developed.

Fifth, the housing policy focused on supporting young people and newlyweds. In order to promote a reasonable policy that supports these groups, it was necessary to establish a target group. Rather than focusing on the specific age group of young people and newlyweds, it is necessary to comprehensively grasp the overall population and household structure, as well as the economic and housing situations of various households when readjusting or redistributing priorities. In the mid-to-long term, it is essential that measures be developed to support those in various types of marriage arrangements (e.g., a de facto marriage or other types of marriage).

Last but not least, this report reviewed the plan to rebuild the delivery system for strategies that adapt to low birth rates and an aging society. The government needs to improve the overall delivery system if it plans to implement a care-based safety net to meet the various social service demands that are not typically met by cash benefits. When reorganizing the social security system with a care-based safety net, the question of how to establish this delivery system is almost similar to the question of how to reorganize the existing social service delivery system, which is a state-funded program. Alternatives to the current service provision model, including social insurance and welfare assistance programs, include linking social service delivery systems with specific ministries to establish a care-based safety net that is centered on local communities.