The internal affairs ministry is considering holding seminars in fiscal 2013 to encourage public servants to leave their jobs early in hopes of cutting personnel costs, with workers in their late 40s and above eyed as the prime targets, according to sources.
The ministry is also looking at introducing those interested in departing before the mandatory retirement age to recruitment companies, though signing up with such services would be left up to them, the sources said.
The ministry intends to seek funding for the privately run seminars, which would help those who quit to think about their future career options, in its fiscal 2013 budgetary request for the year from next April, they said.
Public servants across all ministries and government agencies would be targeted as the government strives to meet its goal of slashing national public personnel costs by 20 percent, they added.
In anticipation of reducing the number of senior public servants, the government is also preparing to establish a buyout program that would pay out additional retirement benefits, as is the case in the private sector.
But not everyone is persuaded.
“Even if such a system is established, it would not work if employees are not prepared,” one government official said.
A system previously existed to offer private-sector jobs to public servants if they left their posts early, but the Democratic Party of Japan scrapped it after coming to power in 2009.
As a result, public servants have become less inclined to depart before the official retirement age.
The government also plans to slash its recruitment of new graduates in fiscal 2013 by 56 percent from the fiscal 2009 level, in pursuit of its cost-cutting target.