30% in Japan willing to work until early 60s, survey shows


With the government trying to raise the working age, 30.7 percent of the respondents to a Cabinet Office survey said they are willing to work for income until they are 61 to 65 years old.

The survey, released Friday, asked respondents until around what age they want to be engaged in paid work. Those who are already retired and had no plans to work again were asked to provide their retirement age.

Those who were willing to work until they were between 66 and 70 stood at 21.5 percent, followed by 18.8 percent who said they wanted to work until they were between 51 and 60, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted on Nov. 1 to 18 through interviews with 5,000 people 18 or older in Japan, with 58.4 percent giving valid replies.

With the nation’s population aging and shrinking, the government is trying to increase opportunities for people to work until 70. It is also considering adding an option of starting to receive public pension benefits after 70.

Asked to give reasons for their choice, 29.2 percent of those who want to retire at 65 or younger cited the mandatory retirement age at their workplace, 29.0 percent cited difficulty continuing work physically and mentally, and 17.0 percent said they want to spend time on hobbies, volunteer work and other activities.

Meanwhile, over half of those who want to work beyond 65 cited economic reasons, with 28.9 percent hoping for a financially comfortable life and 24.9 percent worrying that they will not be able to cover their living costs unless they work.

The survey also showed that 67.8 percent thought about life planning after retirement. Asked how about the role of public pension benefits in their postretirement lives, 55.1 percent said they will rely mainly on public pensions, expecting complementary roles for private pensions, savings and other financial resources.

The share of those planning to depend entirely on public pensions stood at 23.0 percent, while 15.5 percent said they will live chiefly on private pensions, savings and other financial resources, limiting their reliance on public pensions as much as possible.