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FRAMEWORK ACT ON SOCIAL SECURITY

Wholly Amended by Act No. 11238, Jan. 26, 2012

Amended by Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013

Act No. 12844, Nov. 19, 2014

Act No. 13426, Jul. 24, 2015

Act No. 13650, Dec. 29, 2015

Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017

Act No. 15885, Dec. 11, 2018

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to contribute to the enhancement of national welfare by defining the rights of citizens and the responsibilities of the State and local governments on social security and by prescribing basic matters on the establishment and implementation of social security policies and their related systems.
 Article 2 (Basic Ideology)
The basic ideology of social security is to realize a social integration and a happy welfare society in order to allow all citizens to lead a happy living worthy of human dignity without various social risks, by supporting their self-reliance and establishing necessary systems and conditions for social participation and self-realization.
 Article 3 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows:
1. The term "social security" means social insurance, public aid, and social welfare service that guarantee income and services necessary to protect all citizens from social harms, such as childbirth, nurturing children, unemployment, ageing, disability, illness, poverty, and death, and to improve their quality of life;
2. The term "social insurance" means a system that guarantees citizens’ health and income by coping with social harms that occur to citizens with insurance schemes;
3. The term "public aid" means a system that, for citizens who are unable to maintain a living or have difficulties in living, guarantees the minimum standard of living and supports their independence under the responsibility of the State or a local government;
4. The term "social services" means a system that supports all citizens who need assistance from the State, local governments and the private sector by guaranteeing a decent life in the fields of welfare, health and medical service, education, employment, housing, culture, environment, and others and by providing consultation, rehabilitation, care, information, relevant social facilities, development of competence, support for social participation, in order to improve their quality of life;
5. The term "life-long social safety net" means a customized social security system that guarantees income and services for citizens, considering both their basic needs required to be generally satisfied throughout their life cycle and their special needs arising to cope with particular social risks.
 Article 4 (Relationship to other Acts)
Any enactment of, or amendment to, other Acts in relation to social security shall be consistent with this Act.
 Article 5 (Responsibility of State and Local Governments)
(1) The State and local governments shall bear responsibility for maintaining and promoting a decent life for all citizens.
(2) The State and local governments shall reasonably share their responsibilities and roles concerning social security.
(3) The State and local governments shall meet the level of development of the State, preemptively respond to changes in social environments, establish a sustainable social security system, and raise funds necessary therefor each year.
(4) In order to operate a social security system in a secure manner, the State shall biannually calculate estimated financial needs for a mid- to long-term social security projects and publicly announce them.
 Article 6 (State, etc. and Family)
(1) The State and local governments shall endeavor to maintain a sound family structure and to improve its functioning.
(2) When executing the social security system, the State and local governments shall facilitate the voluntary welfare activities of families and local communities.
 Article 7 (Responsibility of Citizens)
(1) All citizens shall exert their full abilities to be able to become independent and self-sufficient.
(2) All citizens shall take continued interest in persons recognized as needing financial, social, cultural, mental, or physical protection and shall cooperate and make efforts with each other in order to form a social environment in which said persons can lead a better life.
(3) All citizens shall share expenses incurred and provide information necessary for providing social security benefits, etc. and shall cooperate in social security policies of the State, as prescribed by related statutes.
 Article 8 (Application to Foreigners)
The application of the social security system to foreigners residing in the Republic of Korea shall be made in accordance with the principle of reciprocity and related statutes.
CHAPTER II RIGHT TO BE COVERED BY SOCIAL SECURITY, ETC.
 Article 9 (Right to be Covered by Social Security)
All citizens shall have the right to receive social security benefits (hereinafter referred to as "entitlement to social security benefits"), as prescribed by related statutes on social security.
 Article 10 (Level of Social Security Benefits)
(1) The State and local governments shall endeavor to improve the level of social security benefits for the maintenance of a healthy and civilized life of all citizens.
(2) The State shall publicly announce the lowest security level and wages every year, as prescribed by related statutes. <Amended by Act No. 13650, Dec. 29, 2015>
(3) The State and local governments shall determine the level of social security benefits in consideration of the lowest security level and wages referred to in paragraph (2) and other relevant matters. <Amended by Act No. 13650, Dec. 29, 2015>
 Article 11 (Application for Social Security Benefits)
(1) Any person who intends to receive a social security benefit shall file an application with the State or the relevant local government, as prescribed by related statutes: Provided, That the State or the local government may file such application on behalf of the person where separately prescribed by related statutes.
(2) Where any person who intends to apply for a social security benefit files such application with an agency having no jurisdiction thereover, such agency shall promptly forward the application to the jurisdictional agency. In such cases, the date the application is forwarded to the jurisdictional agency shall be deemed the date of application for a social security benefit.
 Article 12 (Protection of Entitlement to Social Security Benefits)
No entitlement to social security benefits shall be transferred or mortgaged to other persons, or seized, as prescribed by related statutes.
 Article 13 (Restrictions on Entitlement to Social Security Benefits, etc.)
(1) No entitlement to social security benefits shall be restricted or suspended: Provided, That this shall not apply where it is separately prescribed by related statutes.
(2) Where an entitlement to social security benefits is restricted or suspended pursuant to the proviso to paragraph (1), it shall be made only to the minimum extent necessary for the purpose of the restriction or suspension.
 Article 14 (Waiver of Entitlement to Social Security Benefits)
(1) An entitlement to social security benefits may be waived by a written notice to the agency that has jurisdiction thereover.
(2) A waiver of entitlement to social security benefits may be withdrawn.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), where a waiver of entitlement to social security benefits harms any other person or violates related statutes on social security, such entitlement to social security benefits shall not be waived.
 Article 15 (Indemnification for Unlawful Acts)
Where any citizen who has suffered damage by a third party's unlawful act becomes entitled to a social security benefit thereby, the person who operates a social security system may exercise the right of indemnity against the person responsible for such unlawful act, as prescribed by related statutes.
CHAPTER III SOCIAL SECURITY DELIBERATIVE COUNCIL, ETC.
 Article 16 (Formulation of Master Plans for Social Security)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall formulate, every five years, a master plan for social security (hereinafter referred to as “master plan”) in consultations with the heads of relevant central administrative agencies in order to enhance social security.
(2) A master plan shall include the following matters:
1. Changes and prospects of domestic and foreign social security environments;
2. Basic objectives of, and mid- and long-term direction-setting for, the implementation of social security;
3. Major tasks and methodologies therefor;
4. Amount of fund required therefor and fund-raising plans;
5. Plans for operating funds on social security;
6. Systems for delivering social security services;
7. Other matters necessary for promoting social security policies.
(3) A master plan shall be confirmed subject to deliberation by the Social Security Committee prescribed in Article 20 and the State Council. This shall also apply to any modification of the important matters prescribed by Presidential Decree, among matters stated in the mater plan.
 Article 17 (Relationship to other Plans)
A master plan shall take priority over other plans on social security established by other statutes and serve as a master plan for each of the other plans.
 Article 18 (Formulation and Implementation of Annual Implementation Plans, etc.)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare and the heads of relevant central administrative agencies shall annually formulate and implement an implementation plan for the major policies on social security under their jurisdiction (hereinafter referred to as “implementation plan”) pursuant to the master plan.
(2) The heads of relevant central administrative agencies shall, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, annually submit to the Minister of Health and Welfare the implementation plan under their jurisdiction formulated pursuant to paragraph (1) and the results of the performance thereof in accordance with the implementation plan of the preceding year.
(3) Upon receiving the results of the performance by the relevant central administrative agencies and by the Ministry of Health and Welfare pursuant to paragraph (2), the Minister of Health and Welfare shall compile and evaluate each of the performances and report the results thereof to the Social Security Committee prescribed in Article 20.
(4) In order to efficiently conduct the evaluation set out in paragraph (3), the Minister of Health and Welfare may commission a professional institution to conduct affairs related to investigation and analysis necessary for the evaluation and other relevant affairs.
(5) Matters necessary for formulating and implementing implementation plans and evaluating the performance thereof, and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 19 (Formulation and Implementation of Regional Social Security Plans, etc.)
(1) The Special Metropolitan City Mayor, a Metropolitan City Mayor, a Special Self-Governing City Mayor, a Do Governor, or the Governor of a Special Self-Governing Province, the head of a Si (including an administrative mayor under Article 11 (1) of the Special Act on the Establishment of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and the Development of Free International City)/Gun/Gu (including the head of an autonomous Gu) shall formulate and implement a regional social security plan (hereinafter referred to as “regional plan”) as prescribed by related statutes. <Amended by Act No. 13426, Jul. 24, 2015>
(2) A regional plan shall be linked to a master plan.
(3) Matters necessary for formulating and implementing regional plans and evaluating the performance thereof, and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 20 (Social Security Committee)
(1) A Social Security Committee (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") shall be established under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister to deliberate on and coordinate important policies on social security.
(2) The Committee shall deliberate on and coordinate the following matters:
1. A master plan for improvement of social security;
2. A major plan on social security;
3. Evaluation and improvement of a social security system;
4. Priority order pursuant to the establishment or modification of a social security system;
5. A major social security policy to which at least two central administrative agencies are related;
6. Social security benefits and bearing expenses;
7. Roles of the State and local government agencies and apportionment of expenses;
8. Estimated financial needs for social security projects and fund-raising plans;
9. Operation and improvement of the system for delivering social security services;
10. Social security statistics under Article 32 (1);
11. Protection and management of information on social security;
12. Other matters that the chairperson submits for deliberation.
(3) The chairperson shall notify the following to the heads of relevant central administrative agencies and the heads of local government agencies:
1. A master plan confirmed pursuant to Article 16 (3);
2. A result of deliberation and coordination of the matters listed in paragraph (2).
(4) The heads of relevant central administrative agencies and the heads of local government agencies shall, after reflecting the matters deliberated and coordinated by the Committee, operate or improve the social security system.
 Article 21 (Composition of Committee, etc.)
(1) The Committee shall be comprised of not more than 30 members, including one chairperson, three vice-chairpersons, the Minister of the Interior and Safety, the Minister of Employment and Labor, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family, and the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. <Amended by Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013; Act No. 12844, Nov. 19, 2014; Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) The Prime Minister shall serve as the chairperson, and the Minister of Strategy and Finance, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Health and Welfare shall serve as the vice-chairpersons. <Amended by Act No. 12844, Nov. 19, 2014>
(3) The following persons shall serve as members:
1. The heads of the relevant central administrative agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree;
2. Any of the following persons commissioned by the President:
(a) Persons representing workers;
(b) Persons representing employers;
(c) Persons who have abundant knowledge and experience in social security;
(d) Persons who have qualifications of attorneys-at-law.
(4) The term of office of a member shall be two years: Provided, That the term of office of a member who is a public officer shall be his/her tenure; where a member falling under any item of paragraph (3) 2 is commissioned as a representative of an institution or organization, his/her term of office shall be such period that he/she holds the representative status.
(5) The term of office of a supplementary member shall be the remaining term of office of his/her predecessor.
(6) A working committee shall be established under the jurisdiction of the Committee to operate the Committee efficiently and examine matters for deliberation in a professional way, and the working committee may have a specialized sub-committee for each area of expertise.
(7) Matters resolved by the working committee shall be reported to the chairperson and submitted to the Committee for deliberation: Provided, That resolution by the Committee shall be replaced by resolution by the working committee for insignificant matters prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(8) A secretariat office shall be established under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Welfare to efficiently handle affairs of the Committee.
(9) In addition to the matters provided for in this Act, matters necessary for the composition, organization, and operation of the Committee, the working committee, the specialized sub-committees, and the secretariat office, and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
CHAPTER IV BASIC DIRECTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY POLICY
 Article 22 (Building and Operation of Life-long Social Safety Nets)
(1) The State and local governments shall build a life-long social safety net to ensure that all citizens can maintain and improve their quality of life throughout their lives.
(2) In building and operating a life-long social safety net, the State and local governments shall guarantee a minimum standard of living for the vulnerable social group by providing a public aid.
 Article 23 (Ensuring Access to Social Services)
(1) The State and local governments shall prepare policies on social services to ensure improvement of the quality of life for all citizens by supporting them in living a decent life, self-reliance, social participation, self-realization, etc.
(2) The State and local governments shall assure that ensuring access to social services and guarantee of income under Article 24 be interconnected in an effective and balanced way.
 Article 24 (Guarantee of Income)
(1) The State and local governments shall prepare a system that guarantees all citizens will have enough income to live a decent life even under various social risks.
(2) The State and local governments shall ensure that the income security systems in public and private sectors be effectively linked with each other.
CHAPTER V OPERATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM
 Article 25 (Principle of Operation)
(1) When the State and local governments operate a social security system, they shall apply the social security system to all citizens in need of such system.
(2) The State and local governments shall maintain balance between the level of benefits and apportionments of the costs of the social security system.
(3) The State and local governments shall, in the process of decision-making and implementing policies for social security system, determine and implement such policies in a democratic way by giving opportunities for the representatives of public interest and other interested parties, etc. to participate in the aforementioned process.
(4) When the State and local governments operate a social security system, they shall enhance its connectivity and professionality in order to efficiently satisfy the diversified welfare needs of citizens.
(5) In principle, the State shall be responsible for the implementation of social insurance, and both the State and local governments shall be responsible for the implementation of public aid and social services: Provided, That the State and local governments may consult on and coordinate these responsibilities in consideration of their financial conditions, etc.
 Article 26 (Consultation and Coordination)
(1) In cases of newly establishing or altering a social security system, the State and local governments shall prevent social security benefits from being overlapped with other benefits or being omitted by mutually cooperating and sufficiently reviewing, in advance, its relationship with the previous systems and possible impacts on the system for delivering social security services and on their financial conditions, and other relevant matters.
(2) In cases of newly establishing or altering a social security system, the heads of relevant central administrative agencies and the heads of local government agencies shall hold consultations, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, on the feasibility of such new establishment or alteration, its relationship with the previous systems, possible impacts on the system for delivering social security services, its operational plans, etc. with the Minister of Health and Welfare.
(3) Where deemed necessary for efficiently performing affairs prescribed in paragraph (2), the heads of relevant central administrative agencies and the heads of local governments shall entrust the following institutes or organizations with affairs related to collection, investigation, and analysis of the relevant data: <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15885, Dec. 11, 2018>
1. Government-invested research institutes established pursuant to the Act on The Establishment, Operation and Fostering of Government-funded Research Institutes;
3. Other specialized institutes or organizations prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(4) Where any consultation prescribed in paragraph (2) is not held, the Committee shall mediate it.
(5) The Minister of Health and Welfare may formulate guidelines commonly applicable to the affairs on social security benefits.
 Article 27 (Participation of Private Sector)
(1) The State and local governments shall develop and enforce policies that can promote the participation of the private sector in social security and create conditions therefor.
(2) The State and local governments shall establish and execute policies that contain the following projects so as to induce the participation of the private sector in social security:
1. Various support projects for the promotion of sharing, such as volunteer work, donation, etc.;
2. Support projects for the establishment of a cooperative system with the private sector in implementing social security policies;
3. Other projects necessary for the inducement of participation of the private sector related to social security.
(3) The State and local governments may wholly or partially subsidize costs incurred by private individuals, corporations, or organizations in participating in social security or provide support necessary for carrying out relevant affairs.
 Article 28 (Bearing of Costs)
(1) The costs of social security shall be rationally allocated among the State, private sector, and local governments according to the purpose of each social security system.
(2) In principle, the costs incurred in relation to social insurance shall be borne by employers, employees and self-employed individuals; however, the State may partially bear the costs, as prescribed by related statutes.
(3) The State and local governments shall wholly or partially bear the costs incurred in public aid and social welfare services for citizens whose income levels are lower than those prescribed by related statutes.
(4) In principle, the costs incurred in relation to social services by citizens with ability to bear such costs shall be borne by the beneficiaries; however, the State and local governments may partially bear the costs as prescribed by related statutes.
 Article 29 (System for Delivering Social Security Services)
(1) The State and local governments shall establish a system for delivering social security services that is geographically and functionally balanced to ensure that all citizens can easily gain access thereto and the social security benefits are provided in a timely manner.
(2) The State and local governments shall have organizations, personnel, budget, etc. as necessary for efficiently operating the system for delivering social security services.
(3) The State and local governments shall endeavor to make sure that the systems for delivering social security services of the public and private sectors are efficiently coordinated with each other.
 Article 30 (Management of Social Security Benefits)
(1) The State and local governments shall establish and operate a system for management of social security benefits on each of the following matters to ensure that citizens’ entitlement to social security benefits is guaranteed and the relevant budgets are efficiently managed:
1. Protecting rights of a citizen entitled to social security benefits;
2. Discovering the blind spots where social security benefits are not available;
3. Managing fraudulences and mistakes in connection with social security benefits;
4. Managing social security benefits, including recovery of the social security benefits mistakenly paid.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may establish an organization in exclusive charge of preparing quality standards for social services, evaluating and improving social services, and other relevant affairs.
(3) Matters necessary for the establishment and operation of the exclusive organization under paragraph (2) and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 31 (Training of Experts, etc.)
The State and local governments shall endeavor to train experts and promote academic research and study, and international exchange for the development of the social security system.
 Article 32 (Social Security Statistics)
(1) The State and local governments shall prepare and manage statistics on social security (hereinafter referred to as “social security statistics”) in order to establish and implement effective social security policies.
(2) The heads of relevant central administrative agencies and the heads of local government agencies shall submit the social security statistics under their jurisdiction to the Minister of Health and Welfare, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall compile the social security statistics submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) and submit it to the Committee.
(4) Matters necessary for the preparation and management of the social security statistics shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 33 (Disclosure of Information)
The State and local governments shall disclose and publicize information on the social security system required by citizens, as prescribed by related statutes.
 Article 34 (Explanation on Social Security)
The State and local governments shall endeavor to explain to relevant citizens the rights and obligations prescribed by related statutes on social security.
 Article 35 (Consultation on Social Security)
The State and local governments shall respond to a request for consultation on social security by any person, as prescribed by related statutes.
 Article 36 (Notice on Social Security)
The State and local governments shall inform the relevant citizens of matters on social security, as prescribed by related statutes.
CHAPTER VI MANAGEMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY INFORMATION
 Article 37 (Establishment and Operation of Social Security Information System, etc.)
(1) The State and local governments shall endeavor to electronically manage social security affairs in order to improve convenience for citizens and enhance efficiency of the social security affairs.
(2) The State may establish and operate a system that compiles and connects information on selection of citizens entitled to social security benefits and management of their social security benefits, which is implemented by the relevant central administrative agencies and the local government agencies, and then processes and records such information (hereinafter referred to as “social security information system”).
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall control the establishment and operation of the social security information system.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall prepare policies necessary for protecting personal information throughout entire course of the establishment and operation of the social security information system.
(5) The Minister of Health and Welfare may request that relevant central administrative agencies, local government agencies, and related institutions or organizations provide information necessary for operating the social security information system and may hold and utilize the information so provided within the purposes of such provision. In such cases, the person who is requested to provide such information shall comply with the request unless justifiable grounds exist.
(6) Where necessary to utilize the social security information system in connection with social security information under paragraph (2), the heads of relevant central administrative agencies and local government agencies shall consult in advance with the Minister of Health and Welfare. In such cases, the Minister of Health and Welfare may provide the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies and the local government agencies with information within the scope necessary for the related affairs, and the aforementioned heads who are provided with the information may hold and utilize such information within the purposes of such provision.
(7) The Minister of Health and Welfare may establish an exclusive organization for operating and supporting the social security information system.
 Article 38 (Protection of Personal Information, etc.)
(1) A person who currently engages or engaged in social security affairs shall protect information on any private individual, corporation, or organization that he/she becomes aware of in the course of carrying out the social security affairs, as prescribed by related statutes.
(2) No information on any private individual, corporation, or organization examined by or provided to the State, a local government, public institution, corporation, organization, or private individual shall be held, utilized, or provided without the authority conferred under this Act or any other relevant Act.
CHAPTER VII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 39 (Relief of Rights)
Any citizen whose right or interest is infringed due to an illegal or wrongful disposition, or an absence of the necessary disposition, may request the cancellation or change of such disposition by filing an administrative appeal under the Administrative Appeals Act or by filing an administrative litigation under the Administrative Litigation Act.
 Article 40 (Seeking Opinions from the Public, etc.)
Where the State or a local government intends to establish a social security plan or policy that might significantly affect the livelihood of citizens, it shall undergo an enough opinion-seeking process with the public and relevant professionals by holding public hearings and using information communication networks, etc.
 Article 41 (Cooperation of Relevant Administrative Agencies, etc.)
(1) The State and local governments may request that relevant public agencies, corporations, organizations, and private individuals submit data on social security and render any other cooperation necessary for the establishment and implementation of a social security plan or policy and for the compilation of social security statistics, etc.
(2) Where necessary for carrying out the affairs of the Committee, the Committee may request that the heads of relevant administrative agencies submit data on social security or render any other cooperation.
(3) A person in receipt of a request for cooperation under paragraph (1) or (2) shall comply with such request, unless justifiable grounds exist.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Relationship to other Statutes)
A citation of the previous Framework Act on Social Security or any provision thereof by any other statute at the time this Act enters into force, if any, shall be deemed to be a citation of this Act or of the corresponding provision of this Act in lieu of the previous provision, if such corresponding provision exists in this Act.
ADDENDA <Act No. 11690, Mar. 23, 2013>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
(1) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
(2) Omitted.
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12844, Nov. 19, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 7 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13426, Jul. 24, 2015>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 through 39 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 13650, Dec. 29, 2015>
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2016.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
(1) This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation: Provided, That among the Acts amended in accordance with Article 5 of the Addenda, amendments to Acts which were promulgated before this Act enters into force, but the dates on which they are to enter into force have yet to arrive, shall enter into force on the respective enforcement dates of the relevant Acts.
Articles 2 through 6 Omitted.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 15885, Dec. 11, 2018>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.