年金制度改革 課税の見直しも議論したい

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 4, 2013
Review of taxation must also be discussed in pension system reform
年金制度改革 課税の見直しも議論したい(12月3日付・読売社説)

Finding ways to alleviate the sense of unfairness regarding financial burdens to be shared by pensioners and working generations is a crucial challenge for the nation that must be tackled to maintain the pension system with limited fiscal resources.
 年金受給者と勤労世代の間にある負担の不公平感をいかに和らげるか。限られた財源の中で、年金制度を維持するために重要な課題である。

A bill that will set the procedures for a package of social security system reform programs is likely to pass the current session of the Diet. But the bill only says that pension system reform is necessary. The government must step up efforts to study ways to create a solid system and a timetable for its implementation.
 社会保障制度改革の手順を定める「プログラム」法案は、今国会で成立する見通しだ。ただ、年金改革については、その必要性を明記するにとどまっている。政府は具体的な制度設計と実施時期の検討を急がねばならない。

In its August report, the National Council on Social Security System Reform, which laid the foundation for the bill, pointed out that “even the elderly must be asked to sustain the system in accordance with their burden-sharing ability.”
 この法案の土台となった社会保障制度改革国民会議は、8月の報告書で「高齢者にも、負担能力に応じて制度の支え手になってもらうべきだ」と指摘している。

Pension payments amount to about ¥52 trillion, which is about half of social welfare spending. Welfare expenses are anticipated to increase year after year as the population ages. To ensure the system remains stable, pension benefits and payment burdens must be reexamined.
 年金給付額は社会保障費の半分に当たる約52兆円に上る。高齢化で社会保障費は年々増えていく。制度を安定させるには、給付と負担の見直しが欠かせない。

One concrete reform step would be to bolster pension taxation on high-income earners.
 改革の具体策の一つが、高所得者に対する年金課税の強化だ。

For example, in the case of single people aged 65 or older who receive public pensions, at least ¥1.2 million is deducted when their tax payment is calculated. No income tax is imposed on a married couple when their annual income is no more than about ¥2.05 million.
 例えば、公的年金を受給している65歳以上の高齢者には、課税の際、最低でも120万円の控除が適用される。夫婦世帯では通常、年金収入が年間約205万円までなら所得税がかからない。

In the case of salaried workers, however, total tax deductions from their income amounts to ¥650,000, and the minimum taxable income is set as low as about ¥1.57 million.
 一方、サラリーマンの給与所得控除は65万円で、課税最低限は年収157万円程度と低い。

Unfair taxation

Many people, including low-income irregular workers who pay taxes while supporting their families, apparently consider the current situation, in which no tax is levied on pensioners even with the same amount of income as theirs, as unfair.
 低賃金の非正規労働で家計を支えながら納税している人など、同じ年収でも年金受給者には課税されない現状を不公平に感じる人も少なくないのではないか。

Various measures for low-income earners are applied to pension-receiving households. For households with no resident tax imposed, their nursing care insurance premiums are reduced. In addition, a lower financial ceiling is set on treatment expenses they must pay to medical institutions.
 非課税の年金受給世帯には様々な低所得者対策も適用される。住民税非課税世帯の場合、介護保険料の軽減措置を受けられる上、医療機関に支払う治療費の限度額も低く設定されている。

However, many senior citizens possess a large amount of assets even if their income is low. It would not be proper to regard tax-exempt pensioners in the same way as the socially vulnerable.
 だが、低収入でも多額の資産を有する高齢者も多い。非課税の年金受給者を一律に社会的弱者とみなすのは適切ではなかろう。

Half of the basic pension is financed by state coffers. Even so, pension financing will remain difficult unless something is done. It is unavoidable to bolster taxation on pensioners to a certain extent so as not to impose an excessive burden on working generations.
 基礎年金の2分の1は国庫負担で賄われているが、それでも、このままでは年金財政は厳しい。現役世代の負担を過重にしないためにも、年金受給者に対する一定の課税強化はやむを得まい。

Raising the age for beginning to receive pension payments is also a major challenge.
 年金の支給開始年齢の引き上げも大きな課題である。

The age of people entitled to receive corporate employees pension benefits will be raised, in phases, to 65.
The United States, Britain and Germany have already decided to raise the entitlement age to 67 or 68.
 厚生年金を受け取れる年齢は段階的に65歳に引き上げられているが、米英やドイツは既に67~68歳への引き上げを決めている。

However, the population is aging faster in Japan than in these three countries. Raising the starting age for pension payments, therefore, is an inevitable course of action that Japan must take.
 日本は、これらの国より高齢化が進んでいる。支給開始年齢の引き上げは避けられないだろう。

The next national election will be held almost three years from now at the latest. The ruling and opposition parties should work tenaciously and earnestly toward building a consensus on pension system reform.
 次期国政選挙まで最大3年近く時間がある。与野党は、じっくりと腰を据えて合意形成への道を探るべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2013)
(2013年12月3日01時34分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-12-05 08:36 | 英字新聞

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