I found that the Financial Services Agency report suggesting that pensioners need at least ¥20 million in savings not only alarming but also strange in a way that I have not noticed the media commenting on in Japan.

The FSA is the primary regulator of the financial industry in Japan. I therefore wonder why it felt it had to come out with such a report that is not really about regulating the financial industry. Maybe the Finance Ministry or the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should be advising the public and making policies on this very important matter.

More importantly though, why isn’t the FSA working on two big issues that impact how people save for the retirement?

One of these issues is the exorbitant fees charged by investment management companies, Japanese brokerages and banks for investing in mutual funds. This is an area that regulators in other countries have been very hot on.

The other is how the rules and operations of the defined contribution pension plan schemes work. In particular, raising the very low limit that can be invested in such schemes should be considered, but more importantly the efficiency and cost of such schemes should be improved.

As most of our senior politicians come from wealthy families, I am sure that they do not fully recognize the issues faced by most of the population.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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