Huge Japan pension fund sees worst loss since financial crisis


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The news comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fends off accusations that his administration tried to delay the official release of the fund’s results until after parliamentary elections next week.

The decision to release the figures at the end of this month has sparked claims by the opposition Democratic Party that the government is trying to hide the huge loss.


6 ( +7 / -1 )

If you are in your 40s now, thinking this pension fund will be around to service your needs in 20 years' time, you are dumber than a box of rocks. Please start making private arrangements now if you haven't already done so.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

No way Abe chan has to step down. He is definitively not in control.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Here's hoping that this latest news will prove to be a groin kick to Abe and the LDP in the upper house election.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Time buy your personal home safe boxes and opt out of the pension fund - save for yourself - it's safer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Now we will see some minion m.p take the fire either with a wage cut or getting the boot, either way no one be held responsible. Oh how i hope im wrong!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

wasnt Nomura managing that? isnt there a clause for punishment on loss, it aint some private cash after all... mofos

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The conservative fund had long kept the majority of its cash in super-safe and super-low return Japanese government bonds, generating anemic returns.

These "anemic" returns would have been just fine if the currency had maintained its value and consumer prices had either stayed flat or had fallen slightly.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is huge criminal act on a grand scale.Legal proceedings should began to look at the legality of using the publics pension fund, another folly of inept bureaucrats. A countries pension fund is not there to be manipulated or gambled by the political elite. "The conservative fund had long kept the majority of its cash in super-safe and super-low return Japanese government bonds, generating anaemic returns" anaemic returns they may be,super low returns they may be , but super safe, those are not my words but those in the article. It would be interesting to see the overall figures since using parts of the pension funds dabbling in the stock market Ie: an audit of the profit and loss of their investment. These figures should be available for scrutiny by everyone, not those just published to the media. Although this is a huge loss to Japan, persons,be they speculators or investors has made or are making a huge amount of money out of this fund.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The conservative fund had long kept the majority of its cash in super-safe and super-low return Japanese government bonds, generating anemic returns.

But they lost 49 billion US dollars!!!!!!!!

What halfwits are in charge of this fund?????

That amount is a major screw-up to say the least!!!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So about 30 years from now when I turn 65 and want to retire, is there going to be anything left? Do I get 10,000 yen/month? Or will it go bust? Tell them to get out of the stock market.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

What are they doing? They are gambling everyone's money away... do they have any serious money people involved here or a bunch of 80 year old's picking who is best?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

An official at the health ministry, which oversees the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s biggest, confirmed it is on track to report a whopping ¥5 trillion ($49 billion) shortfall for the fiscal year that ended in March.

And that's pre-Brexit.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Mankind needs a seismic shift in consciousness as capitalism is not the answer !!!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Prices of stocks and other investments go down as well as up. Raising the equity portion of the portfolio was necessary to try and build some gains after years/decades of underperformance and low yields. I don't know if the actual fund management, stock-picking etc was badly done, but not necessarily. Strategically boosting the equity investments itself was not wrong.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

At this point this comes as no surprise to me.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Appears politicians really kill the citizens by their techniques of strategies that might be vicious, sorry. same is all over the world; people need wake up and do the needful to save themselves; else only deep fall into black hole of any kind of any proportions; one day if these ideas continue; the currency is to be good for nothing but some kind of toilet paper only, take care citizens in whatever way possible; nobody would save you but you yourselves only, that is the best insurance, i think.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Blame Abe? People can't find anything better? THAT is the problem. People have just given up. Can't find anyone. Everyone knows Abe is a loser. No need to keep stoning him for it. He's just going to sink the boat further because Japan can't find an alternative.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Abe has repeatedly disputed those claims, and the fund itself also rejected the accusations, saying instead that it needed to finish a once-in-a-decade review of its portfolio before publishing the numbers."

Yeah, which they have intentionally put off concluding until after the elections. There can be no doubt whatsoever that this is the reason why it's being released later than usual. Anyway, the only surprise here is that people are surprised. This is what happens when you gamble people's savings on the stock market, and I'm not at all surprised to hear the person in charge of said gambling will "stay the course until things settle down". Reminds me of a desperate person at the roulette table thinking the next roll will be the big one as his pool quickly dries up.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yeah for those that pay, we could have around 24,000 extra yen per month for whatever. When the news broke months ago that those scumbags were going to use the money from the pension fund to piss away on the stock market, it was obviously curtains for that cash. World wide politicians have become so greedy and corrupt. There is no justice in the world. They will never get what should be coming to them. What a bunch of crooks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Diversification is a good idea, but it's impossible to say any option is going to be better 20/30 years from now. Mismanagement of public pensions is unfortunately a rampant theme, globally, atm.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Similar stuff has already happened in other countries, like mine.

I also heard talk that the J-Gov is considering not paying out Pensions till you are 75yrs young. There is already a gap between the retirement and pension age in many places.

Which means many of us will have to work past 65 unless you got enough to tie you over.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In 2014, the GPIF announced it would start a move to double its stock holdings from 24 percent to 50 percent.

In effect, using the public purse to prop up feeble companies and give a boost to the stock holdings of the wealthy. They probably made a windfall.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Australia's future fund has had solid returns, even with the recent market turmoil. Maybe time for a phone call.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When they shifted their portfolio to Japanese stocks in 2014, I remember thinking "there goes my pension".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why is this not getting next to no coverage in the Japanese press? The tiny headline for the tiny article in the Nikkei has disappeared. Did Abe tell them to dump it? It wasn't on the 7 oclock NHK news.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It is a mammoth loss and who ever let this reaching that red depth should be fired and investigated, but It is not a loss for everybody, those racking commissions on every transactions are happy, do we know who are the middle men trading ? Do they have ties with the govt ? Wondering if this is a loss or rather an organized hold-up on public money. Guess we will never know.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another example of the total ineptitude of the Abe administration and its total devotion to the banks who financed the LDP elections Sold as a way to increase returns, it had dramatically shrunk the principle of the fund. That is criminal. The banks however make money no matter what, as along as the pension fund has to be at 50% stock ownership.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mar. 13, 2015 - 08:25AM JST (was posted on mar 2015, self-explanatory)

Its a "Fixed System". Time to sell your Nikkei stocks strategically, and stay out of this market. "SELL HIGH, BUY LOW". Foreigners had bought stocks much earlier, near 10,000 to 15,000 area. While Japanese investors at 17,000 to 19,000 area with most near 19,000.

Posted in: Nikkei briefly tops 19,000 for first time in 15 years

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Of course not. I am sure there was something about NK however. The NHK is pure propaganda.

The real story here is hat the LDP for their bank clients passed these changes to the Pension find to let banks make millions off of stock commissions. The story was to increase returned but the fact was to increase returns to the banks. They did get their profits but future retirees, you get screwed. This is the way of the world. The elites get the spoils and the rest just have to make due.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Guess it depends on what kind of stocks they own. Should focus on investing stocks that pay dividends then it's a hedge between market swings. Pension fund shouldn't be in panic. Stocks are always cyclical. Even Dow already recovered from 2008 Lehman crisis. US stock holders lost about 30% of value back then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

whoever pays into those pension funds and hope to get something out in 10 20 years time must be dreaming....

all those pension funds are broke in future... not only in japan in most other western countries as well... its not rocket science to figure that out

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm no good in counting money. Can someone tell me who made 5 trillion this last fiscal year and 9.3 trillion yen in the year 2009 since this is the report of the losses incurred by Japan's GPIF. Since there is this monumental loss where is the monumental profit or who made out?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pay your nenkin, so I can collect mine. My money went to pay others, your money goes to pay me. Don't be a deadbeat, give me your money. Now.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Why is this not getting next to no coverage in the Japanese press? The tiny headline for the tiny article in the Nikkei has disappeared. Did Abe tell them to dump it? It wasn't on the 7 oclock NHK news (?)

I second that!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you're a foreigner the best thing to do is when you leave Japan use the lump-sum payment and get as much back as you can.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@domtoidi You should turn your focus away from the little fish, and focus more on the people who are clearly mishandling the system. If there is not enough money for your pension, it should be taken out of their assets. Reports of major holes in the system and people not getting paid are like two decades old now, such as people whose payments were off a few yen because somebody (not them) miscalculated, and so they wind up getting literally NOTHING. After that news broke, anyone paying in should blame the big wigs first, and frankly, themselves second.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What an amazing coincidental set of circumstances - the fund couldn't announce the results on its regular date (before the election) because it had to finish a " once in a decade review of its portfolio ". How incredibly convenient for Abe and LDP - naturally it's pure coincidence only though. There wouldn't be any LDP amakudari stooges running the fund, would they? Purely coincidentally, of course?..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

how is this any different from gambling pension funds on the FX market?

why aren't politicians going to jail for this? i don't understand why people just bend over and take it. pretty much everyone in this thread has probably lost millions of yen to this system, if you've been in japan a decent length of time. poof, into thin air because the LDP wanted to try trading on the stock market.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


No, Japan would be a bankrupt nation and there would be no pension for you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why is this not getting next to no coverage in the Japanese press?

I haven't heard anything on the NHK news but there was a long article on their site Friday. Probably updated to get Okada's reaction.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The pension fund is in a lose-lose situation. It can only remain solvent if an ever greater number of people enroll, which is not possible with Japan's current demographic situation. And the plan to invest the fund in the stock market was just another method of pumping up domestic stock values, and making Abenomics look like it was working.

I hope no one here is depending on the national pension system to support them when they retire.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Without knowing the % amount and where or what it is invested in it is difficult to know whether the "HUGE" loss is on par with the JSX average or bad managment. Markets have swings and roundabouts, the amount initialy proposed was huge and that would have an effect on the market, or at least some stocks. If it were left to gain negative interest in a dusty bank account then some pundits would be complaining too. I am sure fund managers have a long term strategy, if they sell there position that is when there is a real loss. Just wait.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Nikkei has been hammered this calendar year, and a stronger yen won't have helped matters at all when it comes to offshore investments.

I suspect this is probably just one bad year and things will right themselves. Such is the cycle of markets.

That said it would not surprise if the funds were poorly managed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make Japan great, again by cutting back on its foreign aid. Spend the money at home for once.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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