Older Workers in an Ageing Society
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Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Critical Topics in Research and Policy

Edited by Philip Taylor

Prolonging working lives is high on the agenda of policy makers in most of the world’s major industrialized nations. This book explains how they are keen to tackle issues associated with the ageing of populations, namely the funding of pension systems and predictions concerning a dwindling labour supply. Yet the recent history of older workers has primarily been one of premature exit from the labour force in the form of redundancy or early retirement. Add to this a previously plentiful supply of younger labour and it is clear that much of industry will be unprepared for the challenges of ageing workforces.
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Chapter 4: Older workers in Japan: the present situation and the future challenges

Masato Oka


This chapter evaluates recent developments in employment extension for older workers in Japan and presents the challenges for the future. Successive governments have developed a consistent strategy aiming a text ending the mandatory retirement age, known as ‘Teinen’. The 1971Law Concerning Stabilization of Employment of Older Persons (hereafter the Older Workers Law), amended regularly, has played a major role in articulating this strategy. The 2004 Amendment of the Law, enforced in April 2006, is epoch-making. Its mainstay is that employers are obligated to introduce one of the following measures in order to assure employment security until the Full Pension Age (FPA) which is going to be raised gradually to 65 by 2025. The measures are: first, extension of the Teinen age to FPA; second, entire abolition of the Teinen rule; and third, introduction of the continuous employment scheme after Teinen until FPA.

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