SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) — Deposits at South Korea’s individual retirement pension (IRP) products rose more than 16 percent in the first half of the year to flirt with 30 trillion won, data showed Thursday.

The cumulative amount of IRP funds came to 29.5 trillion won (US$24.9 billion) at the end of June, up 16.1 percent from six months earlier, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service.

The figure accounted for nearly two-thirds of the full-year increase of 6.2 trillion won posted in 2019.

The first-half jump contrasts with a drop in contributions to defined benefit retirement plans. Deposits in those pension products came to 136.3 trillion won as of end-June, down 1.7 trillion won from six months earlier.

Industry watchers said IRP deposits spiked in the first half due to high volatility of the local stock market caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which in turn led to greater investments in exchange-traded funds.

Deposits at IRP products offered by securities companies surged more than 20 percent to 6.1 trillion won over the cited period, according to the data.