Most Japan pensions have no investment experience, survey shows
Bloomberg -- Mar 29

About 90 percent of managers under Japan's employee pension system have no prior experience overseeing assets, according to a government survey made after AIJ Investment Advisors Co. was found to lose client money. Only 2 percent of managers at the 558 retirement plans under Japan's employee pension fund system were certified as analysts at a brokerage or financial planners, the survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.

Those who had worked at financial institutions made up about 3 percent.

An elderly man looks at Mount Fuji. Only 2 percent of managers at the 558 retirement plans under Japan's employee pension fund system were certified as analysts at a brokerage or financial planners, a survey by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.

An elderly man looks at Mount Fuji. Only 2 percent of managers at the 558 retirement plans under Japan's employee pension fund system were certified as analysts at a brokerage or financial planners, a survey by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed. Photographer: Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg

The results underscore concerns that retirement assets in Japan may be at risk after AIJ, led by Kazuhiko Asakawa, was found by regulators to cover up $1.3 billion of losses from wrong-way derivative trades. Pensions in the country are seeking ways to bolster returns that have been hampered by low bond yields and two decades of slumping stocks.

Fund performance rather than risk drove investment decisions at employee pension funds, the survey showed. Forty percent of respondents said performance was the most important element for making an investment. Investment process and risk management accounted for 10 percent to 20 percent.

Eighty-eight retirement plans said they had either invested with AIJ in the past or currently have money with the Tokyo- based asset manager. Pensions that never knew of AIJ totaled 24 percent.

News source: Bloomberg

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