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The National Personnel Agency urged the Diet and the government Wednesday to pay an average 0.76 percent wage increase (2,785 yen excluding a periodical wage hike) to civil servants this year, effective from April 1. It also suggested that bureaucrats stop receiving pay raises at age 55, instead of the current 58.

Reflecting low wage increases won by labor in this year’s spring labor talks due to the protracted economic slowdown, the wage increase recommendation for civil servants is 0.26 percentage point lower than the previous year and the lowest since 1960, when the practice was started to compare public servants’ wage increases with the private sector.

How the LDP and the opposition camp coordinate their position on the wage increase for bureaucrats is being closely watched. The agency is calling for lowering to 55 the age at which pay raises cease. In return, larger wage increases have been urged for workers who pay out relatively larger educational costs for their children.

The largest wage increase — 1 percent — is recommended for civil servants in their 30s. If implemented fully, the average monthly pay for a 40-year-old administrative official will be 366,898 yen.

The University of Tokyo and Kyoto University presidents would be paid the highest wage of 1.375 million yen.

Yearend and hard work allowances, equivalent to winter and summer bonuses in private industry, will be the same as the current level, or 5.25 months’ worth of wages.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Wednesday the severe economic conditions should be taken into account in considering the salary rates for public servants. “Many people in the private sector have been exposed to restructuring, corporate bankruptcies and unemployment amid the extremely severe economic conditions. And we must remember that this year’s review is going to be made under such circumstances,” he told a morning news conference.

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