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- April 06, 2022
- Nippon Life announced a change to the fixed guaranteed rate of the general account from 1.25% to 0.5%
On April 6th, 2022 Nippon Life Insurance (the largest life insurer in Japan) announced that they changed the fixed guaranteed rate of the general account* which is their major investment product of pension assets from 1.25% to 0.5%. This change becomes effective for both new and existing contracts in April 2023. Dai-ichi Life (second largest life insurer) had already changed it to 0.25% in 2020 and Nippon Life followed this time. It means that the guaranteed rate of two major life insurers becomes historically the lowest level. This movement will accelerate the employers using the general account to review their pension assets portfolio.
* This is a major investment product unique to Japanese life insurers that returns “a fixed guaranteed rate + policyholder dividends”. It primarily invests in fixed-interest bearing assets. It becomes challenging to respond to the historically low-interest market.
- September 01, 2021
- Changes to DC plan contribution limits determined
Order of cabinet and MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) was announced officially to change employer-sponsored DC contribution limits. This change is expected to affect all employers that have a combination of a DC plan and an externally funded DB plan.
The monthly contribution limit of DC plans is currently JPY55,000 in the absence of a funded DB plan and JPY27,500 if the employer also sponsors a funded DB plan irrespective of the benefit level of the plan.
MHLW concluded that the limit should be set as the total of DB and DC contributions. Accordingly, the new rule is to set “JPY55,000 – hypothetical DB contribution” instead of using a fixed amount of JPY27,500. “Hypothetical DB contribution” will be set as the monthly contribution corresponding to the standard benefit based on the assumption used to calculate normal DB contribution by each company.
The new rule becomes effective on or after December 2024 with some grandfathering arrangements for the employers with combined DC and funded DB.
- April 16, 2021
- Bill to extend the mandatory retirement age for national government workers was submitted to the Diet
In accordance with the proposal by the National Personnel Authority in 2018, the bill to extend the mandatory retirement age for national government workers to 65 from the current 60 was submitted to the Diet. Government explains the purpose of the bill is to keep older workers with wealthy knowledge and experiences working amid the nation’s rapid aging.
In this bill, government plans to extend the retirement age by one year every two years beginning in fiscal 2023, until it is raised to 65 in 2033. The salary of workers who have turned 60 will be cut to basically 70 percent of what they had previously earned. Also, the age limit system for managerial personnel will be newly introduced for the workers attaining age 60.
The amendment is expected to become effective on fiscal 2023.
- March 26, 2021
- Revision of taxation on retirement benefits was passed by the Diet
The 2021 tax reform bills were passed by the National Diet on 26 March 2021. The bills include the revision of taxation on retirement benefits.
Lump sum retirement benefits are subject to one of the most favorable tax treatments in Japan. However due to this revision, favorable tax treatment of retirement benefits (the 50% exemption of amounts exceeding JPY 3,000,000) will no longer be available for individuals with five years of service or less. Similar revision has already been applied to directors since 2013 and is expanded to non-directors this time.
The new rule becomes effective for income tax on or after 2022.