Japan considers bringing part-timers into employee pension system

The Japanese government is considering including some short-term contract workers and part-timers in the employee pension program as a measure to expand the retirement support system's scope, government officials said Wednesday.
By having employees who are only enrolled in the national pension scheme join the employee pension program, the government aims to increase pensions they receive in the future, the officials said.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare plans to submit a draft of related legal changes at an ordinary Diet session next year.
Currently, contract employees, part-timers, and dispatch workers whose working hours are similar to those of full-time employees are not included in the employee pension system if their contracts are not guaranteed to be renewed and if their contract is under two months.
Under the proposed reform, such workers will be able to enroll in the employee pension system as their work regulations or employment contracts say their contracts are renewable or renewable under certain circumstances.
They will also be included if their companies have temporary hires who have been working for more than two months.
The government-linked Japan Pension Service will instruct companies to include short-term staff in the employee pension program if they are later found to be fulfilling such conditions based on information from the employee registry.
In Japan, around 44.4 million people working at private firms and in government positions are members of employee pension programs, with insurance premium fixed at 18.3 percent of monthly salaries and paid equally by employers and employees.
The pension payout will increase in accordance with the amount contributed by the worker.

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