Ex-insurance official plugged AIJ to pension pals

Kyodo

A former official of the defunct Social Insurance Agency has revealed he used to recommend troubled AIJ Investment Advisors Co. to pension fund executives.

The former official said Friday that AIJ, which is believed to have lost some ¥210 billion in corporate pension money under its management, invested heavily in his consulting company and also paid fees to it.

He said he recommended AIJ to other former agency officials he met at pension fund seminars. While he denied forcing them into contracts, these former officials may have contributed to AIJ’s expansion.

His firm received half its capital from AIJ, as well as some ¥6 million annually in consulting fees for about four years. AIJ also lent employees to his company and paid their salaries.

According to a labor ministry survey, 23 former senior officials of the agency, the predecessor to the Japan Pension Service, landed jobs at pension funds across the country after retiring between August 1999 and September 2010.

A pension fund in Hokkaido where one of the 23 retired officials was offered a post had a pension management contract with AIJ.

Government regulators have found that most of the ¥210 billion in corporate pension money AIJ was managing is missing and have ordered the company to suspend operations for a month.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has discovered that AIJ only has about ¥4 billion in assets left in the form of cash and deposits, people familiar with the matter said Saturday.