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The government will consider cutting the retirement pay of public servants for the first time in 21 years to rectify the gap in pay between the public and private sectors, government officials said Thursday.

The move was prompted by a survey soon to be released by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry showing that public servants’ retirement pay is an average of 5 percent higher than that for private-sector workers.

The government will consider specific measures to reduce public servants’ retirement allowances after the results of the ministry’s survey are officially announced Friday.

The last time the retirement benefits of state government workers were cut was in 1981, when a reduction of 10 percent was implemented.

The government is expected to submit bills related to a revision in the law for public servants’ retirement allowance in the ordinary Diet session next year.

Toranosuke Katayama, the home affairs minister, has already expressed an intention to cut retirement pay for state employees.

In a Lower House committee meeting Sept. 6, Katayama said, “If the survey results show that there is a gap, we will take action to bring wages (of public servants) down.”

In August, the National Personnel Authority recommended that the monthly pay for central government employees in the current fiscal year be cut 2.03 percent.

The government is expected to decide whether to make the recommended monthly cut at a meeting of Cabinet ministers to be held Sept. 27.

The retirement pay of public servants had been expected to be cut in line with the cut in monthly wages, but the cuts are now expected to be steeper in light of the results of the ministry’s survey.

The survey on retirement pay is conducted once every five or six years. In the three surveys made since 1981, no large gap had been seen between the private sector and the public sector.

According to the recent survey, the average retirement payment of a government clerical employee is around 26 million yen, while that of a senior central government official is around 80 million yen to 90 million yen.

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