Photo: iStock/Koji_Ishii
business

Over 50% of seniors in Japan wishing to be in work unemployed: survey

41 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

41 Comments
Login to comment

It also found that around two-thirds of the companies polled are not eager to hire senior people as full-time employees, although many of them said there was no particular reason for their stance, according to Recruit Co.

Because it is cheaper to hire these experienced staff at contract/zero-hour rates with no benefits doing the same work as full-time staff for much less. And get government corporate welfare subsidies to do so to boot.

There is your reason.

Most of the articles about the economy are full on Japan Inc./LDP propaganda.

Anti-worker policies that allow full on exploitation like the above will continue until more are properly informed.

10 ( +24 / -14 )

Agism. The last acceptable prejudice.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

The government is encouraging people to work until 70 while taking a soft approach to employers who don't want to take on those over 60.

Respect workers who are qualified, experienced, able, and willing.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

One area where jgov is actuall setting a good example

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

The most common response given was that "there is no particular reason" at 30.3 percent

Well that's a cop out answer. I don't understand why that was even given as an option. State your prejudice openly and honestly.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Many Japanese companies, including its biggest ones, try to get rid of their workers when they turn 60. Usually by slashing their the salary to a fraction of before. Then they cry about a supposed "labor shortage."

They deserve what they get.

12 ( +25 / -13 )

All this is also masking the real issue…that welfare payments are to be delayed at all costs.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Over 50% of 60-74 year olds wish they were still working? They can have mine. I’ll happily trade places with them. Everyday is like Sunday!

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

JeffLee

Actually its a rule at companies to be employed until 60 usually, but its being pushed back to 65,

Many people already know their exact remaining amount of employment days.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yup, it's the Image, like everything else in Japan, It's all about the image. My old job back home almost 40% of my co workers men and women were over 62 helping keep the new employees safe and passing on their wealth of experience, it is so much easier to train and prepare new comers with the help of senior staff.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

In any Inaka town there are multitudes of over sixties at work due to there being no other option

Any food grown in Japan has most likely been picked, packed and delivered by an elderly person

Agriculture is just one of the industries employing the elderly

And your combini bento?

Foreign hands mostly-different story though…

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Ageism. Age prejudice. In Japan, as worldwide, there is an unwritten rule, which determines that the age limit to hire a new employee is up to 45 years old unless the candidate competencies and qualifications be well above its competitors. I read news about the Japanese government requesting people and companies to work up to 75 years, with a generous increase of 86% in the retirement pension. Retirement pension is too low, it obliges many elderly people to work part-time at least to survive decently. The best thing would be the high management of companies to have some brain and heart to have in their companies, the same age profile of the country's, not too many young people, not too many up to 60 only. Who knows, the government can help, by creating higher taxes for companies that have no employees over 60 in comparison to the country's demographic profile.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

The post retirement employees would have to settle for a salary far below their preretirement salary. A lot of people just arent willing to accept this step down in their old age. Its a pride thing. The cultural norm for age based compensation does not help this situation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There are (at least) two problems here, neither of which has been addressed for a long time:

1) Companies' unwillingness to use older workers, even to the point of shunting off their own full-timers (正社員) into lower-paid positions, or temporary contracts at a certain age

2) The need for seniors to work, even after a life-time of work, due to the state of the economy/cost of living

Both can be addressed to a point by legislation, but haven't been. Considering Japan's aging society, and the fact that most LDP voters are older, you'd think the government would at least try to solve this.

Such voters should make their voice heard through their local representatives. Maybe the LDP doesn't care, though, as they know there's no viable opposition.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The most common response given was that "there is no particular reason" at 30.3 percent

Bull! There is one major reason companies dont want to hire them, and it's totally due to the pay system most companies have. Hiring someone "full time", to a Japanese company, means they have to pay them wages in accordance to their company policies towards age, and most do not have policies in place for senior employees.

They "retire" them at 60, and then contract them, on a year by year basis, cutting their pay by as much as 40% monthly, and cut bonuses as well, take away their "titles" but have them do the EXACT same job!

The forced retirement at "kanreki" (60 years old) has to stop, as people who were born in 1963 or later, can not start taking FULL retirement until they hit 65. They can get roughly 50% from 62 or older, but how in the hell are people expected to live on 40,000 or 50,000 a month!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Pretty much everything I wanted to say has already been said by those above.

But just one question remains- Why are seniors in Japan wishing to be in work in the first place? Is it because they really want to work and contribute, or is it that they can't retire due to low pensions?

1 ( +10 / -9 )

At old age you're supposed to move to countryside when retiring.

People are unwilling to move out of Tokyo and other large centers, they can't afford to stay either, so they rather go back to work to afford the bills.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

My company will boot me out the door at 62. I could be a stellar employee, it doesn’t matter. I could come back as a contract employee on 50% of my old salary though. Some thanks, eh?!

I’m packing out my NISA and iDeCo for precisely this reason.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

 companies polled are not eager to hire senior people as full-time employees, although many of them said there was no particular reason for their stance

no surprise there

there are NO REASONS (legit ones anyway) on why companies do anything.

It's always "just because"

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If you think the ageism in Japan is bad, just look at China, you will not even be considered for employment if you are over 35yrs old. And they have slashed the salaries of the majority of civil servants by up to 50%.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

There are a bunch of different retirement benefits here. Kokumin, Kyosai, Kosai etc. If the main bread winner gets divorced he or she loses 50% of their kosai. Ouch. ¥150,000 a month lost for me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why are seniors in Japan wishing to be in work in the first place?

Becasue all they know is work. Its more a part of their identity than anything else. And to be honest there isnt much to do when you get to that age. Maybe play golf if you have the money. Its not limited to Japan though.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

David BrentToday 10:43 am JST

I’m packing out my NISA and iDeCo for precisely this reason.

That's a very good call. I too have both.

The NISA is changing in 2024 so I'm not sure of the details, but I'd definitely recommend the iDeCo, even if you have a company pension. It allows you to invest part of your pre-tax income, and cash in tax-free later too. Even if your mutual funds don't do spectacularly well, or even if you're from the US and can't invest in mutual funds due to onerous IRS regulations, the fact that part of your salary becomes tax-free makes it well worth it:

https://www.retirejapan.com/ideco-j401k/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's fairly ridiculous, unless of course we're talking those outside of major metropolitan areas.

Even as a foreigner, I always managed to find SOME kind of work. I even found jobs through customers from previous places of employment.

I was virtually the ONLY foreigner in a HELLO WORK office when I went there. I never got hired for any of those jobs, but I DID get several interviews.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Becasue all they know is work. Its more a part of their identity than anything else

Sad but true.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Why not retrain them as medical staff/First Aiders/hospital assistants?

That way, when the next pandemic/earthquake/etc hits, nurses and doctors won't be overwhelmed and some of the workload (esp the admin stuff) can be taken over by these seniors.

Who says they need to work in large corporations wearing suits?

These seniors who have experience in life/raising families....can also be trained to become nursery/day-care center assistants. That way, the burden of working fathers & mothers can be eased.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is the downside of the seishain two-tier system.

Anyone who makes it to sixty as a seishain is a winner compared to someone on zero hours or short contracts.

The biggest losers are folks who never get made seishain. This includes 50% or so of some local governments' employees.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Aly RustomToday  10:12 am JST

Pretty much everything I wanted to say has already been said by those above.

But just one question remains- Why are seniors in Japan wishing to be in work in the first place? Is it because they really want to work and contribute, or is it that they can't retire due to low pensions?

-2( +3 / -5 )

I think a mix of both. The level of pension is ridiculous compared to other developed countries (especially Europe). But they also say that they do not feel they contribute to society if they do not work. Few things like volunteer work...etc here.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They worked all their life.

I will have enough money to retire, ie get enough income from my past work.

Why get a retirement pension if not to retire for so many?

Failure of the Japanese state about the level of the retirement pension, for the vast majority.

It is accepted bevause of work's importance in the social mind : one live throught the hive/nest whatever you call it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

These seniors who have experience in life/raising families....can also be trained to become nursery/day-care center assistants. That way, the burden of working fathers & mothers can be eased.

No way!

Just sent the grandkids back after a week and a bit. Lots of fun, they’re great kids, and I love them to bits. But today Mr Cleo and I are recuperating…. It was very hard work!

It’s possible, and something we look forward to (every school holidays) because they’re family and we’re emotionally invested in them as people, we want what’s best for them; but looking after someone else’s kids just for the money?? I don’t think you could pay me enough to do that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Cleo

110% Agree

On the main topic: It is a total insult to make a dedicated and invested worker have to get on his hands and knees to be able to beg and work from age 60 with zero benefits. Totally degrading.

Lose fifty percent of pay!!!! Really wrong.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

No respect at all for those companies that are ageist in firing /not renewing people who are over 60 and want to work, but complain about the labour shortage...none at all.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Lose fifty percent of pay!!!! Really wrong.

What are the alternatives? Most businesses still get away with paying the younger staff a pittance of a salary. If you keep the old codgers on the final salary, where is the money going to come from to give younger workers pay raises? Do we just keep paying old codgers lucrative salaries until they pop their clogs? Its unsustainable. Unfortunately so is the pension system.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If only there was a retirement ceiling for politicians.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

 Is it because they really want to work and contribute, or is it that they can't retire due to low pensions?

All the one's I know do it because of one of two reasons, they have to, because of debts or living costs, and others because they want to, as otherwise they would be bored.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At old age you're supposed to move to countryside when retiring.

This is RIDICULOUS! Why move to the countryside where there is no public transportation, no support, no hospitals, no place to go shopping, no neighbors nearby.....

This is an outdated way of thinking that old folks should go up into the hills and die!

I hope whomever thinks this way, takes their own advice when they get to the retirement age!

It is far easier and convenience for elderly to live in cities than in the country!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The supposed new retirement age passed by the government is 65 and is supposedly going to go up to 70. However, companies still make their employees retire at 60.

This is because nobody knows what is really going on.

Go to your local ward office and they send you some where else saying they don't know.

Go to the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Health and they will tell you the same above but don't know when the new age goes into effect.

In addition to that, no government entity that I could find could tell me which government entity to go to in order to take action.

Typical Japanese bureaucracy to not know but tell you to go to or call the other agency which just sends you into an unending circle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does really anyone fully believe that or part of that? I am very sure they want instead more income due to low pensions, a bigger community for communication with and the feeling of still considered being useful, competent or somehow needed, at best a combination of all that. No one can tell me that they seek daily commuting , employment with hard work and exploitation just so for itself and that it then would bring some merits to aged body and mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites