Company employees will be forced to pay about a quarter of their salaries as pension premiums in fiscal 2025 if current pension levels are maintained, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Wednesday.

The falling birthrate and the rapidly graying population will provoke the increase, the ministry said.

According to a ministry estimate submitted to the pension system panel of the Liberal Democratic Party, the average employee in fiscal 2025 would have to pay nearly double the current percentage to the state-managed pension plan.

In an estimate compiled in 1999, the ministry put the pension contribution burden of an average employee in fiscal 2025 at 21.6 percent of his or her salary.

The revised figures are based on a January estimate of the population in 2050.

In January, the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, a ministry affiliate, said Japan’s population will likely fall to 100.59 million in 2050 after peaking at 127.74 million in 2006.

The ministry estimates that the self-employed will have to pay 29,600 yen a month in fiscal 2025, or 16,300 yen more than at present, under the state-run plan.

The nation’s social security spending, including medical expenses, is expected to reach 182 trillion yen in fiscal 2025. This would represent 32.5 percent of the overall national income, up from 22.5 percent in fiscal 2002, according to the ministry report.

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