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年金制度 甘い公約では改革が進まない

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 13, 2012)
Campaign pledges weak on pension system reform
年金制度 甘い公約では改革が進まない(12月12日付・読売社説)

How will political parties maintain the nation's pension system, which is in a critical situation due to the declining birthrate and aging population? Their campaign pledges mainly call for expansion of pension benefits and lack specific measures.
 少子高齢化で危機的状況に陥った年金制度をどう維持するのか。
 各政党の政権公約は給付の拡充をうたったものが目につき、具体策に乏しい。

Pension benefits have continued to swell as the population ages. However, revenue for premiums to fund the pension system has not increased because of a decline in the working population and a drop in wages because of the sluggish economy.
 高齢人口の増加に伴い、年金給付額の膨張が続いている。一方、労働力人口の減少や景気低迷による賃金下落で、財源の保険料収入は伸びない。

Despite this situation, the Liberal Democratic Party stresses the need to increase "benefits from welfare programs" for senior citizens receiving low pensions while maintaining the existing pension system.
 こうした状況にもかかわらず、自民党は、現行の年金制度を基本に低年金者へ「福祉的給付」の上乗せの必要性を強調している。

In regard to the government's share of contributions to the basic pension fund, which was raised from one-third to half, the LDP pledges to make this ratio permanent by using revenue from the consumption tax.
 3分の1から2分の1に引き上げられた基礎年金の国庫負担割合については、消費税を財源に確実に恒久化することも公約している。

If the LDP does this, the party should at the same time review the current situation in which taxpayers' money is used for high-income earners' basic pension at the same ratio as that for low-income earners.
 それならば同時に、高所得者の基礎年金にも低所得者と同様の割合で税を使っている現状も見直すべきだろう。

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Footing a large bill

The Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) advocate the creation of a "guaranteed minimum pension," which would require greater financial resources, while New Komeito insists on providing additional pension benefits to people receiving low benefits.
 民主党や日本未来の党は、さらに財源を要する「最低保障年金」の創設を唱え、公明党も低年金者への年金加算を主張している。

If the benefits are expanded without asking people to shoulder a larger burden, taxpayers' money to be used to make up for the shortfall in resources will increase. Insisting on such an expansion is irresponsible.
 新たな負担を求めずに給付を拡充するだけでは、年金財源の不足分を補う税金投入は増える一方であり、無責任だ。

If pension benefits are simply increased, future generations will end up footing the bill, widening the intergenerational disparity between the young and the elderly. Under the circumstances, we believe the nation's pension system will eventually collapse.
 将来世代へのツケ回しとなり、高齢者と若者の世代間格差が拡大する。これでは早晩、制度が破綻するのではないか。

What is needed to ensure the stability of the pension system is to curb benefits.
 年金制度の安定に欠かせないのは、給付の抑制である。

In this regard, it is commendable that Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) is calling for "raising the pension eligibility age through creation of employment for the elderly" and that Your Party said it would "consider cutting pension benefits for high-income earners."
 その点で、日本維新の会が「高齢者雇用の創出を図って、年金支給開始年齢引き上げ」を掲げたことや、みんなの党が「高所得高齢者への年金支給減額の検討」を打ち出したのは評価できる。

It is problematic, however, that the two parties advocate a "shift to a funded pension system."
 一方で、両党が「年金制度の積み立て方式への移行」を唱えているのは疑問だ。

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Double burden

At present, we have a pay-as-you-go pension system, under which benefits for current pensioners are funded by premiums paid by the working population. If the system is shifted to a funded pension system, the nation's workforce would shoulder a double burden--paying premiums to provide benefits to the elderly as well as premiums to fund pensions they would receive after retirement.
 現行の年金制度は、現役世代が納めた保険料を高齢者の年金に充てる賦課方式だ。積み立て方式に移行する場合、現役世代は高齢者のための保険料と、自分の老後に備えた積み立てという二重の負担を強いられ、現実的ではない。

Ishin no Kai advocates the creation of "a special inheritance tax to fund pension benefits," but the revenue raised by such a tax would be far short of what is needed. The party does not explain fully how adequate financial resources could be raised, as it does not want the social security system funded by the upcoming consumption tax hike.
 維新の会は「年金目的特別相続税」の創設を提唱しているが、現在必要な年金財源には到底足りない。消費増税分を社会保障に充てることも否定しており、どう財源を賄うのか説明不足と言える。

To ensure stable financing of the pension system, many issues should be reviewed.
 年金財政の安定のため、見直すべき課題は多い。

In 2004, a plan to lower pension levels was introduced in line with the decrease in the working population, but it has not been enforced. It is necessary to implement this plan at an early date.
 2004年に、現役世代の人口減少に合わせ、年金水準を引き下げる仕組みが導入されたが、一度も発動されていない。早期の実施が求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 12, 2012)
(2012年12月12日01時22分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-14 06:25 | 英字新聞

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