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Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 357-379 (2008)

“Pension Implementation Issues and Shifting to a Universal Pension in Japan”
Noriyuki Takayama (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University), Hiromichi Miyake (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

“Floating” pensions became a serious issue in Japan recently. It is mainly due to a lack of a backup system of checks and corrections which assumes that human errors are inevitable. Moreover, it is necessary to create a system where all administrative bodies can share information on individuals' current addresses, and where e-government is implemented in order to achieve a proactive administration. Further, collection of social insurance contributions should be separated from Social Insurance Agency, and integrated to National Tax Agency in Japan.
How to reform the basic pension is also a hot issue in current Japan. Switching to a universal pension is expected to smooth pension burdens among different generations. Taking the fiscal constraints into account, shifting half the basic pensions to a universal pension will be a realistic option.