National / Politics

Panel mapping course to allow continued employment beyond 65 years old

JIJI, Kyodo

The government has started talks on a new growth strategy, aiming to help employees to continue working after they turn 65 years old.

Officials now plan to craft a law obliging businesses “to make efforts” to extend the retirement age of employees to 70.

The government plans to decide the outline of the bill by next summer, and it will ask a policy panel under the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to discuss it, sources said.

“We’ll intensively promote discussions on reform for pangenerational social security,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday at a meeting of the Council on Investments for the Future.

Currently, many companies set the retirement age at 60 and adopt a system for continued employment until 65.

The government aims to ensure that people can continue working beyond 65 if they wish, to help them extend their healthy life spans and thus curb public spending on medical and nursing care services.

During Friday’s panel meeting, a private-sector member claimed that it is crucial to prepare a system to match elderly workers’ skills with companies’ needs.

The panel will also discuss measures to strengthen the foundations of regional economies facing population declines, including realignments of regional banks and public transport networks, “industrial revolutions” utilizing cutting-edge technologies and review of ways to enforce the antimonopoly law.

The government plans to adopt a three-year flow chart next summer to implement new measures.