The South Korean pension system is a staterun PAYG social insurance system that has largely managed to avoid key problems common elsewhere. General state pensions arrived on the scene relatively late – in 1988 – in an economy dominated by small family firms and a familial social protection system. Despite financial surpluses, the system underwent two major reforms focused on sustainability, in 1997 and 2007. Recent discussions also highlight adequacy and old age poverty, with the prospect of rapid population ageing. Korea has combined PAYG finance with a large pension reserve – the second largest sovereign fund in the world – whilst also managing to preserve the unity of the system by applying common rules.