Elderly Employment Focus of Shunto

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), February 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

Elderly Employment Focus of Shunto


One major theme of this year's shunto spring labor negotiations is the revised law on stable elderly employment, which will require companies to continue employing workers until the age of 65 starting from April.

While employers are seeking ways to minimize a possible hike in personnel costs caused by continued employment, labor unions are worried such moves could negatively impact wages for younger workers.

The revised law is aimed at coping with the increase from 60 to 65 in the eligible age for receiving corporate pension benefits. The age will be increased incrementally through 2025.

Most companies with a mandatory retirement system have set the retirement age at 60. The current law requires such companies to adopt one of three measures to deal with the pension reform: abolish the mandatory retirement system, raise the retirement age, or introduce a system to reemploy or continue employing workers after retirement.

However, there are no penalties under the current law and companies can choose which workers they keep after retirement based on standards established in in-house labor-management agreements.

Starting from April, however, the revised law will require companies to continue employing all workers who wish to keep working. The names of companies that violate the law will be publicly announced.

Few companies have chosen to abolish the mandatory retirement system, fearing that it could lead to delays in promotions and a surplus workforce. Most companies have chosen to continue employing workers or raise the mandatory retirement age to 65.

Suntory Holdings Ltd. …

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