politics

Gov't likely to face strong opposition to raising retirement age: survey

45 Comments

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has warned that the government is likely to face strong opposition to plans currently under discussion to further raise the retirement age to 70.

The ministry this week announced survey results that reveal the public is not in favor of further raising the retirement age. The data comes days after the government revealed plans to raise the minimum age for employee pension payouts to 68, further extending a planned rise to 65 from 60 by the year ending in March 2026 for men and March 2031 for women, in an attempt to meet surging costs to care for a rapidly aging society.

The proposed changes are expected to face opposition from industry groups and labor unions, however. The ministry announced Thursday that in a survey of 138,000 small, medium and large companies, only 17% of employees favored working until 70 years of age. Moreover, only 47.9% favored working until 65.

In small to medium-sized businesses, 50% of employees favored working until 65, but this number fell to 23.8% among employees of large companies, the ministry said in a statement. Although the government previously announced hopes that big business would bear the majority of the cost burden, the survey data reveals that the proposal to raise the retirement age to 70 has little support among large companies.

The ministry added that the government would need to enforce the retirement age by ensuring that the elderly could secure jobs, especially since many companies retain 60 as their mandatory retirement age.

Social security spending in Japan accounts for around one third of the $1 trillion state budget and the amount is growing steadily, analysts say. Japan's outstanding debt is already twice the size of its $5 trillion economy. A welfare ministry panel is due to hold further retirement age discussions toward the end of the year.

© Japan Today

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45 Comments
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Work,Live and Die for the Government...provided job is available.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Particularly unfair to those who perform manual labor or have strenuous jobs. Imagine doing that @ 70 years old. Karoshi (death by overwork) will definitely increase. Maybe that's the desired result.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, your company says good bye at age 60. You wait ten years to start collecting. What do you live on for those ten years? There are going to be a lot of people lining up on the welfare lines for sure.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is how the government says thank you to the people who built up this country

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It does not matter what is the number in the paper. In 20 to 30 years they will not have enough money to pay the pensions anyway. Japan is not alone in this, they will just be one of the first ones to realize the fact.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One point that I think is too often forgotten is that Nenkin/Social Security is still in its infancy. This program is less than 50 years old and has only been seriously paying out for the last 20. To listen to some of the supporters of Nenkin/Social Security you would have to believe that this program was the foundation of Western and Asian societies when in reality most generations have never received government intervention when they become senior citizens. As a Socialist, I love the concept, but I am already planning for life without it when I retire in the next 20 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JapanGal Oct. 14, 2011 - 08:49AM JST. So, your company says good bye at age 60. You wait ten years to start collecting. What do you live on for those ten years? There are going to be a lot of people lining up on the welfare lines for sure.

Problem is people are living alot longer in Japan. You really can't depend on J-goverment handouts for your problems. This is your problem and goverment cannot do much. The J-goverment must implement effective individual retirement plan that is similar to U.S. 401K for future generations. First six percent of your monthy income that is tax deferred should go directly to retirement plan and the same percentage is matched by the employer. The J-goverment still can offer still social security at a later years but future generation will receive at substantial reduced rates. 99 percent of the companies cannot offer pension so the individual has to take full responsibilites in managing their investments for golden years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Current retirement age here is 65 but will be increased to 68, in a couple of years. That may be allright for persons in light indoor employment but unfair to persons with heavy duty phisical employment

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Current retirement age here is 65 but will be increased to 68

The current retirement age is 60, that's when the company either gives you your farewell party and a clock, or cancels your seishain status and makes you a contract worker on greatly reduced salary, miserable working conditions and no guarantee of your yearly/6-monthly contract being renewed.

65 is the age at which people are eligible to receive their full pension. At present there's a 5-year gap and the government apparently wants to make it an 8- or 10-year gap. That isn't going to work.

Legislation is needed to make the retirement age the same as the pension age.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People are living a lot longer, healthier so it would be strange if the retirement age stayed the same.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sfjp330

There is already a system in place where the employer matches the emplyee's contribution at approximately 8% each. It's called kousei nenkin.

Over 32 million are enrolled from approximately 57 million employed. Hence, your "99% of the companies cannot offer pension" sounds appears to be inaccurate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

nigelboyOct. 14, 2011 - 09:56AM JST, Hence, your "99% of the companies cannot offer pension" sounds appears to be inaccurate.

It is not meant literaly. What this means, if you can read between the lines is that there will be fewer and fewer companies that will offer pension system for their employees. Due to the uncertainties of economic climate, most companies do not want long term obligations to pay benefits for 20-30 years after they leave the company. The standard 401K is good enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never mind raising retirement age in Japan as there are sooo many old geezers in upper positions, who dare to give room to young and up-to-date generations :(

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sfjp330

With all due respect, your comments are based solely on what you perceive in U.S. With very limited knowledge on Japan.

In Japan, enrolling emplyees into kousei nenkin is mandatory under the law if the employer is houjin (法人). In the US, the enrollment of such pension as 401K is not mandatory but is used by employers as an incentive to keep their current employees and to hire new ones.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Isn,t this article talking about the govt pension only?...Don,t most people here also receive a lump sum / regular monthly pension from their former employer when they retire? This being separate from the state pension...? Please correct me if I,m wrong anyone as I don,t have in depth knowledge of the pension arrangements over here.

Btw,, as others have pointed out this ia a problem faced by all developed countries and they are all doing the same - raising the retirement age in order to keep the system from financial collapse...Look at Germany, Greece, France ,Australia.....all doing the same thing ..This is inevitable in Japan also...Better start planning for your own financial security in old age

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I was reading an article the other day that said to live a "celeb" life after retirement of "eating out a few times a month and one overseas trip a year", you will need to save 60,000,000 yen on top of your pension before you retire. Good luck with that...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

marcelito - According to the nenkin tokubetsubin that gets sent out every year to let people know how much pension they can expect and when they can expect it, in my case the corporate pension is payable from age 60, and the national pension from age 65; but it seems it depends on which corporate pension people have paid into. I have a relative currently receiving a reduced corporate pension who is not eligible for the full pension until 65. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the corporate pension is also subsidised from taxes, so the government would have a say in when it gets paid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr Smash; The system is mad. My MIL is on disabilty and was also on pension paid for by her husband. she recieved 145,000 Yen a month. A few years ago they deceide she had to have only the highest payemnt which is her disability payment of 90,000 Yen. If we cannot help out she would live in poverty. She is housebound.and they treat like that and nobody gives a damn.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

many of them receive pensions without having paid a single yen into the system.

This.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Raise the age regardless of who is in favour or not. People are living longer and 60 now is not the same as 60 30 years ago. Of course many people don't want to work longer - but who cares? The government can't cover the number of years people will be claiming. While they are at it, they should lower the amount of health care these people get or offer and incentive NOT to run crying to the clinic as the first sneeze. Need a check-up for a cold? Fine. Pay for it yourself. Need surgery? The government should cover it. The abuse of the medical system and the pension system is shocking. The better you look after yourself, the less visit, the less abuse. Why not a tax break and an increase in pension that they are able to claim?? Gives an incentive to look after yourself and not abuse the medical system while helping the pension system.

If people want to collect their pensions I would suggest they get their butt to city hall at least once a year to prove THEY are the ones alive and collecting it - not family members who cover up the deaths of pensioners to collect the money. Can't make it to city hall? Have someone call and city hall can visit to ensure the person is alive.

Didn't pay into? Sorry, no pension for you! There are a lot of KKK jobs that don't ask for pension - like many eikaiwa jobs - who ARE able to pay into the pension. Thing is, they don't want to. And then try and claim when it comes to. BS and they should get nothing.

Don't want to work longer than 60? Find a job you like. Not as easy as it sounds I know but if the idea of 'slogging away until you 70" sends shivers down your spine, you obviously dislike your job and need to find something else to do.

Mind you, that all being said, I don't expect a pension to be around when I get to the magical age? Why? The abuse it takes now, the number of old people claiming... Start your own and start saving your pennies folks as the pension isn't going to look after you well into your golden years.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cull everyone over the age of 70. What benefit do they provide to society and what can they do to have fun? They are nothing more than a burden to their children and they cost a fortune to keep alive with all their pills, potions and trips to meet their friends at the social club (i.e. hospitals). Send them a 9mm on their birthday with a thank you for your service letter..

On a serious note. Raising the age of retirement seems fair to me given that people are living longer. Another alternative is to stop fractional reserve lending and the debt money system and the government would not have to worry about decreasing its expenditure in order to pay the interest on all of it's huge existing and growing debt mountain.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tokyokawasaki

Cull everyone over the age of 70. What benefit do they provide to society and what can they do to have fun? They are nothing more than a burden to their children and they cost a fortune to keep alive with all their pills, potions and trips to meet their friends at the social club (i.e. hospitals). Send them a 9mm on their birthday with a thank you for your service letter..

This post totally made my day... You just made me ROFLMAO!!!! I wish for my loving husband to please put me out of my misery once I reach 70... the thought of being a burden to him and my children really depresses me. If he doesn't comply, then I'll just put on my best kimono and jump into the sea...since I can't swim, you know. ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well I turned 60 this summer, but the company asked me to stay on. But I can surely see why Japanese companies kick you out at 60 since everyone at our retirement seminar who reached 60 (24 of us) looked really burned out.

Just like in the US, its a political cop-out to keep raising the retirment age instead of just reducing the benefits. Gradually reduce benefits so people will know they better save something and not totally depend on the government for a handout.

I remember about 30 years ago on a 60 Minutes program about Social Security the showed how a senior who contributed to the system for 30 years received all the money the put in plus 8% interest in only 5 years -- after that its just a welfare payment. They presented this information to groups of seniors and you would not believe their reaction -- it wasn't a pretty sight...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mandatory company retirement age 60, benefits start at age 70. Cue Axl Rose mixtape: "Welcome to the jungle baby, you're gonna die"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A flexible tiered retirement age plan could be an idea. Create the possibilities for workers to choose an age, from e.g. 60 / 65 / 68 / 70. Simply tailor the amounts paid out to the amounts paid into the system. Wanna retire at an early age? OK, fine, at a reduced pension. Whatever the government in planning, it will take many years before any changes will go into effect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cull everyone over the age of 70. What benefit do they provide to society and what can they do to have fun? They are nothing more than a burden to their children and they cost a fortune to keep alive with all their pills, potions and trips to meet their friends at the social club (i.e. hospitals). Send them a 9mm on their birthday with a thank you for your service letter..

Yeah. 25% of the population is over 65 now .... Gonna look like one of those zombie movies soon.

A flexible tiered retirement age plan could be an idea. Create the possibilities for workers to choose an age, from e.g. 60 / 65 / 68 / 70. Simply tailor the amounts paid out to the amounts paid into the system. Wanna retire at an early age? OK, fine, at a reduced pension. Whatever the government in planning, it will take many years before any changes will go into effect.

Seems like a very reasonable idea!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't believe the huge sums I have to pay into this every month. I'd rather just keep the money myself. By now I'd have more than enough to retire on--yet here I find I won't get but a fraction of it and many years later than I expected. What a load of absolute crap. Same story for US social security.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They are raising the minimum age for employee pension payouts to 68. How do we live without any income for all those 8 years from 60 to 68??? So... they are raising the retirement age to 70. They are raising pension payouts to 68 due to lack of budget; lack of budget is due to aging society=fewer younger generation. If retirement age is raised to 70, fewer jobs for younger generation... Oh no... what are we gonna do???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh no... what are we gonna do???

Save enough money to get by those eight years? You do know it is coming so if you haven't done it, blame yourself!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How do we live without any income for all those 8 years from 60 to 68???

The answer is simple: get a job as a "bike straightener" at your local train station for 8 years. You can never get enough bike straighteners, they are indispensible to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BurakuminDes

don't forget all those guys and gals who wave those Star Wars things around outside construction sites.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Zichi - yep, plenty of gigs for them too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

over 40 more years until I get pension or am I gonna get pension ever? I would rather save those money for myself rather than helping those older strangers...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mahiru, you are NEVER getting a pension. I already mentioned this. Hope you have started saving. Honestly am shocked that people think there will be a pension for them in 40 years!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tmarie That's exactly what I'm worried about. If I'm not getting pension at all, why is the pension fee (thing) withdrawn from my paycheck every month. It's mandatory!!! I understand in the U.S., you can choose your pension plan. But in Japan, other than private pension plan, Kosei-nenkin, Kyousai-nenkin, and Kokumin-nenkin are all mandatory.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The current retirement age is 60

laugh out loud

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Missing two years DPJ government They this determined ruining the economy of Japan.How to explain to these elderly that the government has no money for their retirement but it has plenty of money to help European banks and even leftover a pay back for foreigners with the draw of 10,000 Airfare free most certainly most part will to Chinese and Korean.This is inhuman too.Stop stealing these elderly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because Mahiru, no one gets out and raises these questions to the j government. Don't like it? Either voice your opinion and start something or move! The foreign community doesn't like it either but we don't have a voice nor a vote!

Start your own savings/pension plan if you're worried about it. I have no idea how people can be in the work force and not have their own savings/pension/investments!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The current retirement age is 60

used to be 55 (you've been here long enough to know this, although probably not old enough back then to care about it), but it was not "law" then (the age of 50), and niether is "this" age 60 law now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has one of the worst generational inequality in the world. Japan has lost its vitality because the older generations don’t step aside, allowing the young generations a chance to take new challenges and grow. Japan will have 40 percent of the population that will be 65 or over in 30-40 years. More Japanese will retire and live off their savings, they spend less, further depressing Japan’s low levels of domestic consumption. There are corporations that hire all too many young people for low-paying, dead end jobs, forcing them to shoulder the costs of preserving higher paying jobs for older employees. The underfinanced pension system so skewed in favor of older Japanese that many younger workers simply refuse to pay. J-goverment that spends far more on the elderly than on education and child care. In Japan, there is a outdated hiring practices that have created a new “lost generation” of disenfranchised youth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I left uni not long ago. I've never paid one yen for nenkin. So far, my plan of retiring at is on course.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

at 50

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Change, if you don't have PR, good luck with trying to get a new visa if the j government gets their way! I don't agree with the forced payment system but some folks are idiots and don't save for the future.

Personally, I think we should just get rid of the pension system altogether. It is a recent thing here - started after the war. Get rid of it and let people save/invent the way they want. I see my payments as a waste of money. As stated, the Japanese government spend a lot of money on old people - health care. pensions... but very little on young ones like education and day care. Seems unfair that I am paying into a system I get very little return from. I would rather invest myself but... seems I can't do that without losing my healthcare as well.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

suppose the companies will hand out knifes at the "retirement" parties. After they tell them they have no job or income they will offer to perform the sepuku ceremony for them. Problem solved

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People flock to doctors because it is easier and cheaper to go to a doctor than to buy an over the counter drug like contact etc. Have you ever tried to buy aspirin here? 10 tablets for ¥1000. That is insane.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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