The revised National Pension Law was enacted Wednesday, freezing a planned premium increase in fiscal 1999 for an unspecified period.

The government had earlier planned to increase a monthly premium for the national pension program from the current 13,300 yen to 14,000 yen starting today. Given the current severe economic condition, the government decided to freeze the plan, which would have increased the burden on those under the national pension program, by some 110 billion yen in fiscal 1999 alone.

Currently, 29.6 million people age 20 and older, mostly self-employed people, are under the program. The government has also decided to keep a monthly premium for the Kosei Nenkin pension program covering salaried workers.

Those who had already paid premiums in advance in line with the initial plan will have the balance repaid upon request.

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