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Author Topic: Pension not being paid--E2 visa  (Read 6173 times)

Offline calliesaurus

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Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« on: September 04, 2015, 11:36:29 AM »
This is my first year teaching in Korea. My contract doesn't say anything about pension, and when I asked my head teacher about this she said that the school does not pay into pension--but after researching it seems like the school would have to? It is not a Korean school, so I don't know if they are exempt in any way. They also do not provide healthcare, but the contract says they will reimburse medical emergencies--not general healthcare visits though.

I also do not have taxes taken out of my paycheck--which is given in cash. The contract said that the first two years teaching, taxes are not required. And I was told I'm an independent contractor when I asked about health insurance, but the contract clearly states that I am an employee and not allowed to teach anywhere else, tutor, etc. So, am I getting screwed?

Offline jamonamagnet

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 01:28:38 PM »
What is your home country? (this is important for matters such as tax and pension)

Are you working in public school or hagwon?  (I can guess, but this also affects what the answer is going to be).

Are you currently in possession of your passport?  (Not a strange question).

Offline calliesaurus

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 02:39:32 PM »
Home country: USA

School: It's neither. It's a foreign private high school.

Passport: Yup. Haven't been to immigration yet to get my ARC.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 03:10:06 PM by calliesaurus »

Offline Chester Jim

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 01:59:18 PM »
  Many academies don't offer pension now, which I thought was illegal too.   Also from what I understand they cannot prevent you from working at another place, but they can be unhappy about it, which might lead to problems for you.  Three warnings and no release letter.
Taxes are not required?  I have had the immigration call my school because a guy with the same name as me owed 3k us.  Maybe it is different for a private foreign school.
Bonzai!

Offline calliesaurus

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 11:19:57 PM »
So it's legal for them to not pay pension, despite all of the official websites saying that it is required for pension to be paid? Or it's only required that employees pay into it? I have an American co-teacher in the same situation, and we have been trying to research. One of us will probably call the pension office next week, but we thought we'd start with the forum. This, combined with being paid in cash (without any sort of breakdown of the pay) and a few other things seem to be red flags that we couldn't catch before starting work.

Offline calliesaurus

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 07:55:08 AM »
Do you think we'd have any sort of case if we went to the Labor Board? It's not a Korean hagwon, it's a foreign school, but not an international school. It falls in a weird area on the Korean school spectrum.

Offline Hot6^

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 08:09:53 AM »
It's not legal but hagwons do it anyway. Just collect your taxfree, healthcare free, pension free salary and refuse to work at the next place that doesn't offer pension. Also they might slap you with tax next year when they do the accounting. Hogwons aren't required to respect the 2 tax-free years americans get.  If you're paying pension then you have to pay tax and health care too.

This is terrible advice, as you WILL get slapped with backpay, and also maybe fined, which can lead to HUGE MONEY. Co worker had this happened, had to pay 5k.

Happened to me, (just for healthcare) had to back pay 6 months worth, sucked.

Korean Labor Law supersedes your contract. What this school is doing is highly illegal.

Call the pension office, immigration, and if you want to have them investigated, the tax office.
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.

Offline bmym80

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 08:17:55 AM »
I worked in a hagwon like this a few years ago. Some of the other native teachers complained. So they offered us pension/healthcare/pay taxes if we wanted-but we had to backpay for 6-months. Some of them took it. I did not. It is illegal for hagwons to do this. I saved a little money but I would not do it again.

Offline orionchocopie

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 09:58:18 AM »
You should call the pension office about this, not ask for information here because it's very specific to you.

South Africans don't pay pension, but you are not from SA.

(Most) public school teachers don't pay tax for the first two years, but you are not in public school.

Also, how long have you been here?  You must apply for your ARC within 90 days of arrival.  You can do a lot of things with your passport (get a bank account, get a SIM card) but there are a bunch of things that you need an ARC for.  Plus, it's illegal not to apply.

You should also insist on getting a payslip every month.  Presumably you know what your gross pay should be, so you ought to know what deductions are being made and why.

I'm glad you still have your passport.  Keep hold of it- your hagwon sounds a little shady.

Offline bpetrea

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 02:27:58 PM »
I've just run into the same problem with my school today. I am leaving in one week, and I went to the pension office to apply for my lump sum pension. I've been paying into the pension plan every month, according to my payslips. When I went up to the pension office, they said my account is empty. So apparently my school hasn't been paying... It's unreal that this is such a common occurrence.

Offline ehenness

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 02:39:16 PM »
If you are an American, Canadian, or Australian and qualify for the pension refund your school is screwing you out of money if you don't pay into the pension.

Whatever you pay into the pension the employer has to match, but if you aren't paying in, your employer isn't paying you that money. After one year that was an extra $1000 you could have had on top of your own pension contributions...

However if you are from a country that doesn't qualify for a pension refund, it is saving you money to not pay in, however illegal it may be...

Offline orionchocopie

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 03:14:10 PM »
It's not a common occurrence.  However, it does suck if it should happen to you.  I thought it was well-known and rookies were now on their guard.  Apparently not...

Offline bpetrea

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 03:37:55 PM »
So, after speaking with my director, apparently they have been paying into the pension plan, and there was a mix up at the NPS. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow. We'll see how it goes... Also Orionchocopie, if it's not a common occurrence, then why should rookies be on guard? Also, I was under the impression that if it's listed in my payslip as being deducted, then they were paying into it. The pension office doesn't exactly make it an easy process to double check whether or not it's actually being paid into..

Offline Porksta

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 04:23:07 PM »
So, after speaking with my director, apparently they have been paying into the pension plan, and there was a mix up at the NPS. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow. We'll see how it goes... Also Orionchocopie, if it's not a common occurrence, then why should rookies be on guard? Also, I was under the impression that if it's listed in my payslip as being deducted, then they were paying into it. The pension office doesn't exactly make it an easy process to double check whether or not it's actually being paid into..

Sure they do.  Walk in and ask for a statement of your balance.

Offline orionchocopie

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 07:35:03 AM »
Rookies should always be on guard.

Public school will generally never shaft you, but hagwons often will.

I hope your pension situation is a genuine mix up and not a mad scramble for someone to cover their ass.

Offline calliesaurus

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 08:47:10 AM »
Rookies have an awful lot to be on guard for, so it's not surprising if something slips. My contract didn't mention pension, so I assumed it would be paid because of the laws, but I guess I should have clarified before signing. I called the pension office last night and they gave me the number of someone who works in my school's jurisdiction who can help. My co-teacher and I thought we'd wait until we'd been here for 30 days, because I guess we can't be fired without cause at that point.

Offline Porksta

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 10:21:44 AM »
Rookies have an awful lot to be on guard for, so it's not surprising if something slips. My contract didn't mention pension, so I assumed it would be paid because of the laws, but I guess I should have clarified before signing. I called the pension office last night and they gave me the number of someone who works in my school's jurisdiction who can help. My co-teacher and I thought we'd wait until we'd been here for 30 days, because I guess we can't be fired without cause at that point.

90 days.

Offline slycordinator

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2015, 11:17:40 AM »
Also, I was under the impression that if it's listed in my payslip as being deducted, then they were paying into it.
I can print up a piece of paper that says I paid you in unicorns. It doesn't make it true.

Offline bpetrea

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2015, 02:15:33 PM »
I went back to the pension office today, and fortunately my pension was all as it should be. Such an odd situation, but I should be getting it back... whew...


And yes. Rookies should be on guard about everything. I have been for the most part... granted, that little fiasco did worry me a bit. So newbies, take note. Check your pension throughout the year.

And as for all the joyous people who replied with their two cents. Thank you for your wealth of knowledge.  :rolleyes:

Offline bpetrea

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Re: Pension not being paid--E2 visa
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2015, 02:20:51 PM »
Also Calliesaurus,

I truly hope everything goes well, and that your school isn't ripping you off! In reality, it is very important to double check everything. Unfortunately, you can't trust that schools here will follow the laws, or the contract.