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2014年6月 6日 (金)

年金財政検証 将来世代守る改革につなげよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Reform needed to maintain proper pensions for future generations
年金財政検証 将来世代守る改革につなげよ

Public pension system reform must be implemented steadily so that the system, which will support people’s lives after retirement, is passed on to future generations.
 老後の支えとなる年金制度を将来世代に引き継ぐため、改革を着実に実行せねばならない。

The government has released a report which examined the fiscal conditions of the public pension system. The examination is made once every five years to check the soundness of fiscal conditions, taking trends in population and economy into account.
 政府が公的年金の財政検証の結果を公表した。5年に1度、人口や経済の動向を踏まえ、年金財政の健全性をチェックするものだ。

With the decline in the working population that supports the pension system alongside a rapid increase in the elderly population receiving pension benefits, younger generations are expected to receive lower pension benefit levels.
 少子高齢化で年金の給付水準は低下していく。

According to the findings, the so-called pension replacement rate—the ratio of benefits received by average retiree households to the average after-tax income of the working population—is expected to decline from 62.7 percent in fiscal 2014 to 50.6 percent in fiscal 2043.
検証結果では、現役世代の平均収入に対する標準世帯の受給額の比率(所得代替率)は、2014年度の62・7%が43年度には50・6%まで下がる。

Under this estimate, the system would barely be able to maintain its benefit levels at 50 percent or more of the average income of the working population, levels which the government had advocated with pension system reforms in 2004.
 04年の年金改正で政府が掲げた「50%超」という約束は何とかクリアする。

Yet, under estimates that assume a birthrate decline and little increase in the entry of women and elderly people to the workforce, the rates are expected to fall to below the 50 percent mark. It can be said that the latest findings have confirmed the importance of taking measures to deal with the declining birthrate and boost employment.
ただ、出生率低下や女性・高齢者の就業率の低迷を見込んだ試算では50%を割り込む。少子化対策や雇用政策の重要性が改めて確認されたと言えよう。

In the latest report, three types of special estimates were made assuming changes to the system, including an extended period of subscription to the basic pension program. Given that all three estimates have proved effective in the improvement of fiscal conditions, it is desirable for the revision to be realized as early as possible.
 今回の検証では、基礎年金の加入期間延長などの制度改正を想定した3種類の特別試算も示した。いずれも財政改善の効果があり、早期の実現が望まれる。

What is needed most urgently now is a review of the system by which pension benefits are curbed.
 中でも急がれるのが、給付抑制を図る仕組みの見直しである。

The current system pays pension benefits to the elderly within the scope of the pension program’s income—with its tax burdens and reserve funds taken into account—while setting an upper limit to pension contributions made by the working population.
 今の制度は、現役世代が払う保険料に上限を設け、収入の範囲内で高齢者に給付する方式だ。

Activate the ‘slide’

To maintain a balance between income and expenditure, the program applies the so-called macroeconomic slide mechanism, which enables an automatic curbing of pension benefits in line with the declining number of births and the graying population.
収支のバランスを取るため、少子高齢化の進展に応じて自動的に給付水準を下げる「マクロ経済スライド」を採用している。

The problem with the current system is that there is a rule limiting the application of the mechanism during times of low economic growth and deflation with declining prices and wages. The rule is designed to fend off possible opposition from the elderly by not curbing benefits during such periods.
 問題は、物価や賃金の下落時や低成長時には適用を制限するルールを設けていることだ。年金の減額を避けて高齢者の反発をかわす狙いがある。

If little progress is made in curbing benefits to the elderly today, allowing benefits to remain high, younger generations are likely to receive lower benefit levels. A full implementation of the macroeconomic slide mechanism is therefore necessary to retain appropriate levels of benefit for future generations.
 今の高齢者の給付水準引き下げが進まず、年金額が高止まりしたままでは、将来世代の取り分が減ってしまう。マクロ経済スライドを完全実施し、将来世代の年金を守るべきだ。

The special estimates also indicate the levels for those who delay the age at which they begin receiving their benefits, together with a five-year extension in the period of making contributions to the basic pension plan.
 特別試算では、基礎年金の加入期間の5年延長と併せて、受給開始年齢を遅らせる選択をした人の年金水準も示した。

For those who would contribute to the program for an extended period, the amount of benefits can be increased. And by making it more convenient for people to opt into the system of delaying the pension roll-out age to later than 65, their benefits can be increased. In other words, staying in the workforce as long as possible while receiving the benefits as late as possible means an increase in benefit levels.
 保険料を長く納めて年金額を増やす道を広げる。さらに、受給開始を65歳より遅くすると加算される制度を使いやすくする。できるだけ長く働き、遅く受給すれば、年金水準は高まるわけだ。

But considering the vast variations in health and economic strength among elderly citizens, they are certain to voice strong opposition against a uniform raise in the qualifying age of benefits. An optional system is deemed realistic, at least for the time being.
 高齢者は健康状態や経済力の個人差が大きく、受給年齢の一律引き上げには反発が強い。当面は選択制が現実的な手法だろう。

Securing job opportunities for the elderly is a prerequisite for them to take such options as contributing to the pension program for an extended period or deferring receipt of benefits.
 前提となるのは、高齢者の雇用の確保である。

As the working population declines, having elderly people stay in the workforce to support the overall economy is also important for the nation’s growth strategy. Both the government and businesses need to make efforts to improve working environments for the elderly.
労働力人口が減少し、高齢者にも働いて経済の支え手になってもらうことは、成長戦略としても重要だ。政府と企業は、高齢者が働きやすい環境の整備に努める必要がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 5, 2014)

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