社説:厚生年金基金改革 決められる政治の出番

July 16, 2012(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Pension system must be drastically reformed, welfare pension funds axed
社説:厚生年金基金改革 決められる政治の出番

The alleged misappropriation of at least 100 billion yen of welfare pension funds by asset management firm AIJ Investment Advisors Co. has people worried about the survival of public pensions. Those concerns are a bit off the mark, however.
 1000億円以上もの厚生年金基金を消失させたAIJ投資顧問事件で公的年金の存続を心配する人がいるが、それは違う。

Welfare pension funds are a third tier of pensions set up individually by corporations in addition to the two-tiered public pension scheme, comprised of a basic pension and an employees' pension. The ongoing scandal should not have any effect on public pensions, and any losses incurred by welfare pension funds should be dealt with by member companies.
厚生年金基金とは、基礎年金(1階)と厚生年金(2階)の上に企業が独自に設けた3階部分を指す。1、2階部分の公的年金には本来影響がなく、被害を受けた企業が自己責任で処理すべきものなのである。

The problem is that many of these funds cannot dissolve even if they want to, because they manage portions of the employees' pension on behalf of the national government. Furthermore, because many of the funds affected by the scandal are comprised of small- to mid-scale businesses in depressed industries, forcing repayment could push the companies themselves into bankruptcy. Demanding other fund members to take joint responsibility could even set off a chain of bankruptcies.
 問題は、2階部分である厚生年金の一部を国から預かって代行運用しており、そこに穴が開いているため基金を解散したくてもできないことだ。もともと不況業種の中小企業が寄り集まった基金が多く、無理に返済を迫れば企業本体が倒産しかねない。共同で運用している他企業に連帯責任を求めれば連鎖倒産の恐れが出てくる。

The AIJ scandal is characterized by welfare pension funds that were lured by the sweet promise of high yields, after which they were dragged deeper and deeper into trouble. Of 578 welfare pension funds in Japan, some 40 percent now lack the cash necessary to manage a portion of employees' pensions; the total deficit comes out to over 700 billion yen.
危ない高利回りの甘言にだまされた基金がますます泥沼に引きずり込まれたのがAIJ事件である。現在578の基金の約4割が、必要な積立金が不足する「代行割れ」の状態で、不足分の総額は7000億円を超える。

There's no easy way out of this. As a proposal to make it easier for funds in crisis to dissolve, an expert panel to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare suggested reducing the amount of money that pension funds must return to the government, and eliminating any joint responsibility for repayment among member companies.
 妙案があるわけではない。厚生労働省の有識者会議は、危機的な基金を解散しやすくするため、国への返還金の減額や加入企業の連帯返済の廃止などを打ち出した。

How, then, would the gaps left by money that has not been recovered be filled? Reserve funds from public pensions, the panel said. But would subscribers to employee pension plans who have nothing to do with the scandal accept such an idea?
しかし、穴が開いた部分をどうするかといえば、公的年金の積立金で埋めるというのだ。まったく関係のない一般の厚生年金加入者はこれを受け入れるだろうか。

The panel was unable to reach a clear policy on reform that would lower the 5.5-percent projected rate of interest and slash the pension payments that retirees receive, by postponing topics for future deliberation or presenting them with both their pros and cons.
 その一方で、予定利率(5.5%)を引き下げたり、OBの年金受給額を減額したりする改革案は検討の継続か両論併記にとどまり、明確な方針は示せなかった。

This may be due in part to precedents in which reductions in pension payments have not easily been accepted, as welfare pension funds serve as a part of an employee's retirement package.
厚生年金基金には退職金の一部という面もあり、容易に減額を認めなかった判例があることも影響しているのだろう。

However, unless pensioners who are receiving the third-tier of their pension schemes at high guaranteed yields share in the pain, it will be difficult to convince employee pension subscribers who will suffer the brunt of the damage.
しかし、高い予定利率の3階建て部分を受給しているOBが痛みを分かち合わなければ、とばっちりを受ける厚生年金加入者の納得は得られないのではないか。

When the workforce was much larger than the pensioner population, pension management went smoothly and reserve funds just kept growing.
 現役世代が年金受給世代よりはるかに多かったころは年金の運用実績も良く積立金は増えていく一方だった。

In contrast, our rapidly-aging society requires us to cut into our reserves bit by bit.
今は積立金を少しずつ取り崩しながら超高齢化を乗り切っていかねばならない。

To ensure the survival of public pension plans, we must quickly give up on funds that are unsustainable.
公的年金の持続可能性を損なわないためには、「代行割れ」の基金に早く見切りをつけることだ。

And if anyone is to decide who must endure the inevitable pain of this situation, it should be our politicians.
誰かが痛みを引き受けないといけないならば、「決められる政治」の出番ではないか。

All pension funds are suffering from a shrinking work force and a growing population of pensioners.
Unless the economic situation undergoes dramatic improvement, provision of pensions at 5.5-percent estimated yield will leave the government even more financially strapped.
 現役が減りOBが増えているのはどの基金も同じで、経済状況がよほど改善しない限り5.5%の予定利率で支給し続ければ財政が苦しくなるのはわかりきっている。

It is time for the government to begin fundamental reforms, including the complete abolishment of welfare pension funds.
厚生年金基金制度そのものの廃止も含めて抜本的な改革に着手すべきだ。

毎日新聞 2012年07月16日 02時32分
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-19 07:31 | 英字新聞

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