Japan

Gov’t plans to raise working age limit to 70

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The Japanese government wants to raise the working age limit to 70 from the current 65 as part of efforts to promote economic growth in the fast-graying country, according to a draft plan compiled by a government panel.

The draft midterm report by the committee responsible for coming up with the government's growth strategy also calls for making big firms disclose the ratio of different age groups among employees, a move aimed at promoting mid-career employment among companies, which tend to heavily recruit people freshly out of school.

The plans will likely be decided at a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Monday to serve as a basis for an action plan to be created next summer.

It marks a first step by the government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe toward revamping the social security system in three years to better cover all generations, although it still needs to make arrangements with the business world before realization of the plan.

In the course of preparing to submit bills on the age limit in 2020, the government will also consider promoting different working styles, such as working shorter hours or working remotely from home, and facilitating employment of seniors by providing subsidies and setting up special councils of municipalities and firms.

The government plans to maintain the principle of awarding public pensions from age 65, although it aims to give people a new choice of starting to receive the money after age 70.

Other measures covered by the plan included creating a new drivers' license targeting the elderly who drive vehicles with special safety functions as well as automatically sending documents on nursery school applications to people with target-age children rather than making them come to an office to apply.

© KYODO

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