News On Japan

Japan Mulls Raising National Pension Age to 65

TOKYO, Apr 16 (News On Japan) - As Japan faces an aging population, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is considering extending the National Pension payment period from age 60 to 65. The proposal has sparked mixed reactions among the public.

A 59-year-old woman, soon to finish her pension payments, shared insights into her frugal lifestyle, buying bent vegetables at a discount and pickling them to save money. She noted, "Prices are rising, and everything seems to be getting more expensive. I'm always careful to save money on small everyday things."

This move could mean that individuals might have to pay up to an additional 1 million yen in total if the insurance period is extended by five years. Currently, the monthly pension insurance premium is 16,980 yen. Over five years, this would amount to nearly 1 million yen in extra payments.

However, the extension could potentially increase the pension amount received by about 10,000 yen.

Opinions from the public vary significantly:

A 62-year-old business owner expressed concern: "For those over 60, re-employment is tough. Many see their salaries decrease, making it harder."

A 64-year-old business owner sees the benefit: "It's okay to extend it. Everyone is getting older."

In Tokyo's Koto Ward, a 50-year-old tempura shop owner lamented, "What we relied on is becoming unreliable. Is it wrong to live too long?"

A 60-year-old cleaning shop owner shared, "When I turn 65, I'd like to relax, maybe travel. It would be tough if I didn't have enough money then."

A retail businesswoman living alone in Tokyo voiced her frustration: "I thought I was almost done with pension payments, but I don't think they're really considering us."

In France, similar pension reform plans—from 62 to 64 years—led to nationwide protests after the government pushed through the decision.

Meanwhile, Japan is also reconsidering the "Employed Elderly Pension" scheme, which currently reduces the welfare pension by half for any amount exceeding 500,000 yen per month combined with wages for those aged 65 and above.

The Ministry's review includes potential changes to this scheme, suggesting it might be favorable for those who wish to keep working while healthy.

However, there is criticism too, pointing to "favoritism towards high-income earners" and "increasing disparities."

The Ministry plans to finalize the calculation items through its expert panel, publish the verification results, and then decide on the future direction of the pension system.

Source: FNN

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