On June 1, 2016, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced its Comprehensive Plan for 50+ Assistance for citizens aged 50-64, who account for 21.9% (2,190,000 people) of the city’s total population. Since then it has been striving to establish a differentiated support system for the older generations, providing counselling and education to a total of 75,752 citizens in 2016. In 2017, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will launch four new programs for the over fifties including the 50+ Center, 50+ Life School, 50+ Social Contribution Jobs, and 50+ Generation.
The consultants and moderators of the 50+ Center, all of whom are also in their fifties or older, help users of the service to plan their post-retirement life in the areas of work, financial affairs, family, and relationships. In 2016, the center provided around 380 cases of one-to-one 50+ counselling service to 6,941 citizens. The Seoul Metropolitan Government aims to expand the scope of the service to include 10,000 people by 2017 and as many as 30,000 people by 2020.
The 50+ Western Campus and the 50+ Central Campus will offer the “50+ Life School” starting in March 2017. The new education program is designed to help members of the older generations plan and lead their own life by offering them participatory education for life redesign through three departments (life redesign, career exploration, and support for daily life) on a semester basis. 4,572 students completed 127 courses in 2016 and 2,971 students will take courses during the first semester of 2017.
Both campuses will offer mandatory introductory courses while local resources and infrastructure-based courses are independently operated on each campus. The Western Campus will team up with Seoul Innovation Park to expand its curriculum to include social participation classes, including 3rd Sector & the Community, Global Volunteering, and Integration of Generations. The Central Campus plans to work together with the Seoul Startup Hub and the Sangam Media Center to offer media, business start-up, and job creation courses. The number of students is expected to increase by more than 7,000 once the construction of the Southern Campus is completed in September 2017. A total of six campuses will be established by 2020, and they are expected to produce 25,000 graduates every year.
In 2017, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will establish four more centers in four districts and operate eleven infrastructure facilities in total, including three 50+ campuses and four centers. Once six campuses and nineteen centers have been established for the 50+ program by 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will have opened a dedicated 50+ infrastructure facility in all of its autonomous districts.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will create 50+ Social Contribution Jobs to enable members of the older generations to contribute to society and earn an adequate income based on their work experience. A total of 1,575 social contribution jobs were provided to seniors in 2016 and the average competition rate was 2.2:1. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will increase the number of jobs by 1,000 each year to provide a total of 5,000 social contribution jobs for citizens aged over 50 by 2020.
Each month, the Seoul Metropolitan Government provides an idle campus facility and support funds (within KRW 500,000) to selected 50+ community groups to help citizens aged over 50 build their interpersonal relationships and enjoy their post-requirement life. A total of 1,274 people in 127 teams received benefits in 2016 from the project, which was carried out at each campus. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to provide more support for community clubs founded by citizens aged over 50, with the aim of supporting 200 and 300 teams by 2017 and 2020, respectively.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government expects that around 140,000 senior citizens will receive welfare benefits in 2017, and that about 500,000 citizens (roughly 1 out of every 4 citizens aged over 50) will enjoy the benefits by 2020 when all the autonomous districts in Seoul will have a dedicated 50+ infrastructure facility.