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Avoiding pension debate will serve only to deepen public anxiety

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The Lower House Financial Affairs Committee met in session June 14 to discuss Finance Minister Taro Aso’s decision to refuse to accept a Financial Services Agency report that said elderly couples would need substantial savings to survive.

Pointing out that an elderly couple would need to draw on their savings to make up an average difference of 50,000 yen between their monthly spending and income, including pension benefits, the report compiled by an FSA advisory council said they would need a total of 20 million yen ($185,000) over 30 years.

In explaining his decision, Aso said the report has caused “misunderstanding and anxiety” by giving the impression that public pension benefits are insufficient to cover their living expenses in their retirement years. “I will not accept the report because this argument is at odds with the government’s official position that pension is a core source of post-retirement income,” he said.

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, Komeito, has rejected an opposition request for Budget Committee........

© The Asahi Shimbun