The government and business groups this week began discussions on whether the mandatory retirement age should be raised to 65 from the current 60.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is calling for companies to rehire retirees who would like to keep working once they turn 60. In line with this proposal, the pension eligibility age would also be raised to 65, the Nikkei reported.
However, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), said that health problems begin to weigh on people as they grow older. "Rather than mandating a retirement age, it should be left up to individuals and the companies they work for," he was quoted as saying.
He also said that if older employees are kept on at companies, that would have a negative impact on the number of graduates able to find jobs.
Meanwhile, Nobuaki Koga, the head of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), offered a different view, Sankei Shimbun reported. “Keeping the mandatory age as is may result in some elderly being unable to pay for basic needs. Anyone that wants to work until 65 should have that option," he said.
The labor ministry said it hopes to have a bill on a revision to the labor law ready to be submitted to the Diet next year.© TOKYO