The Daily Manila Shimbun


Retirement Age Hike Recommended for Japan Public Servants

August 10, 2018

Tokyo- Japan's National Personnel Authority on Friday recommended law revisions to raise the retirement age of national public servants from the current 60 to 65 in stages.

The government agency also called for removing workers who reached 60 from managerial posts in principle and reducing annual pay of those aged 60 or over to some 70 pct of their pay levels before the age.

The recommendations were submitted to the Diet, the country's parliament, and the cabinet. The government aims to introduce legislation to make relevant law amendments at the next ordinary Diet session starting early in 2019.

When the retirement age hike should start has yet to be decided.

Currently, public servants at or over 60 are allowed to continue working under a reemployment system. But they have to accept a big pay cut.

The government agency proposed limiting the salary cut to some 30 pct, hoping to keep work motivation from decreasing while curbing personnel costs.

As exceptions to the basic age limit for managers, the agency said workers who reached 60 should be allowed to remain at their managerial posts if they have specialist knowledge.

Also proposed was a short-hour work system for public servants finding it difficult to work regular hours for reasons including the need to take care of aged relatives.

Regarding the recommended retirement age hike, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference, "We'll further study it to gain public understanding and submit necessary legislation."

The agency also recommended raising monthly salaries for national public servants in fiscal 2018 by 0.16 pct, or 655 yen, from the previous year and annual bonuses by 0.05 month of salary to 4.45 months.

It thus proposed a rise in both salaries and bonuses for the fifth consecutive year. If the recommendations are fully implemented, the average annual pay will increase by 31,000 yen.

In an estimate released Friday, the Finance Ministry said the recommended pay hikes would raise personnel costs for central government employees by 36 billion yen.

According to a National Personnel Authority survey as of April, public servant salaries and bonuses were lower than private-sector levels. The agency judged it is appropriate to make the pay hike recommendations to reduce the gap.

On the pay scale, young officials will benefit more from the recommended hike. The basic salary table for vice ministers and other executives will be left intact.

As part of work style reform measures, the authority proposed limiting overtime hours of national public servants to 45 hours per month and 360 hours per year in principle.

Also recommended were measures to prevent sexual and power harassment and improve government document management. Government workers should be fired or suspended in principle for malicious wrongdoing, including fabrications and falsifications of government records and important documents, the agency said. Jiji Press