Abe Defends Japan's Pension System

Abe defends Japan's pension system

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has defended the credibility of Japan's public pension system, after a government panel report said about 20 million yen, or nearly 190,000 dollars, would be needed for post-retirement life. He says the wording in the report is imprecise and has caused misunderstandings.

Abe was speaking at a Diet committee meeting on Monday about the report compiled by a panel for the Financial Services Agency.

The report said households of elderly couples, whose income is mostly pension payouts, would need the sum of money in a 30-year period and that the money must come from their own savings.

The opposition camp indicated that people have found that the government's claim the pension system will be secure for the coming 100 years is a lie.

Abe responded that pension amounts for this fiscal year have been increased 0.1 percent, and this benefits both current recipients and future generations. He stressed he believes the public pension system has become more reliable.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso said he has read the introduction of the report, but not its entire content. He said it was inappropriate for the report to have spoken about the finances of the elderly without referring to their making use of savings and retirement allowances. He added this caused misunderstandings and anxiety among the public.