年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 14, 2009)
Compromise necessary for pension reform
年金改革 党派の対立超え接点を探れ(8月14日付・読売社説)

The pension system is the bedrock upon which the citizens of this nation build their postretirement life. However, if this system lacks stability, notions of a strong ultra-aging society will be nothing more than a pipe dream.
 年金制度は老後を支える根幹だ。これが揺らいでは、安定した超高齢社会は築けない。

In the last fiscal year, the rate of contributions paid by subscribers to the national pension scheme, which mainly covers self-employed and nonregular workers, declined to a record low of 62.1 percent. This figure is believed to reflect public distrust in the current system, with many people reportedly concerned about being unable to receive pension benefits, despite having paid premiums over many years.
 自営業者や非正規労働者などが支払う国民年金保険料の納付率は昨年度、過去最低の62・1%まで下がった。保険料を納めても年金を受け取れないのではないか、という不信感を反映したものだろう。

Evidently, the pension system will need to be fundamentally overhauled before public confidence can be restored.
 年金制度への信頼を取り戻すために、思い切った改革が必要であることは明らかだ。

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Different visions

The Liberal Democratic Party pledged in its policy platforms for the upcoming House of Representatives election to offer help within three years to people who currently receive little or no pension benefits.
 自民党は、無年金・低年金者を3年以内に救済することを公約に掲げた。

More specifically, the party--in a shared pledge with its coalition partner, New Komeito--proposed shortening the minimum period that people are required to pay premiums in order to qualify for pension benefits from the current 25 years to 10 years.
具体的には公明党との与党共通公約として、年金をもらうための最低加入期間を現行の25年から10年に短縮するなどとしている。

In addition, New Komeito proposed improvements aimed at guaranteeing minimum benefits for low-income earners by providing additional financial assistance from the state coffers.
公明党はさらに、低所得者に年金を上乗せして最低保障機能を充実することを唱えている。

Conversely, the Democratic Party of Japan proposed an all-encompassing pension program in which everyone would be asked to pay premiums in proportion to their income. The envisaged program also is designed to guarantee a minimum monthly pension income of 70,000 yen by drawing upon taxpayers' money to provide extra benefits. Such a move would transform the current pension scheme.
 一方、民主党は国民共通の所得比例年金を創設し、受け取り月額が7万円以上になるように税金で最低保障年金を上乗せする案を示した。新しい制度に移行する抜本改革である。

Though the ruling bloc's pension reform plans and the DPJ's ideas are significantly different, they are not completely incompatible.
 与党と民主党の年金改革案は大きく異なる。ただし、全く相いれないものではない。

Up until the previous House of Councillors election, the DPJ had said the basic pension portion of its minimum-guarantee pension scheme would rely entirely on taxpayers' money. This proposal thus gave the impression that the current premium-based system would be rebuilt from the ground up into a system that was fully funded by tax revenues.
 民主党は前回の参院選まで、自らが唱える最低保障年金について「基礎部分をすべて税にする」と説明し、現行の保険料方式を全額税方式に転換するかのように印象づけていた。

However, the party altered its rationale ahead of the upcoming lower house election. Under its newly drafted reform plan, the envisaged pension scheme would be based on benefits linked to the amount of premiums paid into the system by people during their working years, with the minimum-guarantee pension benefits complementing this income-linked pension.
 しかし、衆院選では説明を変えている。基本となるのは保険料による所得比例年金であり、最低保障年金はそれを補完する形に概念図を作り直した。

As a result of this new stance, friction lessened between the ruling and opposition blocs over whether a premium-based or tax-funded program was best suited to the nation's needs.
 この結果、保険料方式か全額税方式かという、これまでの与野党の対立は弱まった。

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Cross-party challenge

The ruling parties continue to maintain that a domestic unified pension program should be this country's long-term goal.
 与党はかねて「最終的には年金制度の一元化が望ましい」としていた。

We believe the idea of a unified income-linked pension program to be worthy of serious consideration.
すべての国民が保険料方式の所得比例年金に入る構想は到達点として十分検討に値しよう。

However, the DPJ plan would require a long transitional period before the new system could be operated smoothly and effectively. Therefore, as proposed by the ruling parties, the government would need to take measures to financially support those people who had only small pensions, or no benefits at all.
 一方、民主党案も完成させるには長期の移行期間が必要であり、与党が主張するような、現に生じている無年金・低年金者への対策が不要になるわけではない。

The ruling and opposition blocs' pension reform proposals are not completely contradictory. As such, it would be possible to seek a compromise.
 年金改革に関して、与野党の主張は互いを全否定する関係にはなく、接点は見いだしうる。

As for coming debates on pension reform, voters should keep a close eye on which party or candidate seems the most constructively minded on the issue.
 有権者が見極めるべきは、建設的な姿勢で議論しているのは、どの政党、どの候補者か、という点であろう。

Whatever political shape the nation takes after the lower house election, reforming the pension system is a task that must be tackled across party lines.
 衆院選後に政権の枠組みがどうなろうとも、年金改革は超党派で取り組まねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2009)
(2009年8月14日01時13分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-08-14 08:32 | 英字新聞

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