1,880 local-level bureaucrats plan to retire before allowances are cut

Kyodo

To avoid impending cuts to their retirement allowances, 1,880 local government officials have retired or will do so by the March 31 end of fiscal 2012, government data showed Tuesday.

The figure is 7.5 percent of all 25,165 bureaucrats at 84 prefectural and municipal governments who are scheduled to reach retirement age soon, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a report.

Those local governments plan to hire part-time workers to prevent the early retirement of officials from impacting services.

Yoshitaka Shindo, minister of internal affairs and communications, said Tuesday that he has asked the local governments not to let the resignations hurt the performance of their duties.

The ministry surveyed all 1,789 local governments nationwide, including 25 prefectural and 59 municipal governments that plan to cut retirement allowances during the current fiscal year.

Of the 1,880 early retirees, 510 are in Aichi Prefecture, 466 in Kyoto Prefecture, 341 in Hyogo Prefecture and 153 in Saitama Prefecture. The figures from the four prefectural governments account for 78.2 percent of the total, the report said.

No early retirements were planned by employees of the Tokyo, Tochigi, Gunma, Yamanashi, Shiga and Oita prefectural governments, it said.

The number of early retirees may rise as some prefectures, including Ishikawa and Shizuoka, have said it is not known how many officials will quit before reaching retirement age, ministry officials said.

The central government has urged regional governments to cut retirement allowances in January, following in the state’s footsteps.

Of all local-level governments, 38 cut retirement allowances in January and 46 were to make cuts between Feb. 1 and March 31.