There has been a lot of discussion going on about the reform of the social welfare system in the developing countries as well as in the developed countries. The case of South Korea is no exception to this trend. Although it has a short history of national pension system, it has already exposed many problems including fiscal crisis. This situation has resulted in various reform proposals from the government and academic sectors. A sheer number of reform proposals accompanied by lively discussion at home as well as abroad increases the difficulty of finding an appropriate reform plan. To deal with this problem, there has to be a deep discussion of the essentials. From this standpoint, this study derived income redistribution, government monopoly and coercion as the essential elements comprising the national pension system. With regard to each of the elements, this study has investigated various arguments and put them in perspective.
[Key Words: 소득재분배, 정부독점, 강제성, 부과방식, 적립방식, 민영화]