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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 27 - July 3  > Government forces Insurance Agency staff to return bonus
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2007 June 27 - July 3 [POLITICS]

Government forces Insurance Agency staff to return bonus

June 27, 2007
The Abe government on June 25 announced that 17,000 Social Insurance Agency employees are requested to voluntarily return part of their summer bonus on the grounds of sharing the responsibility for the agency’s gross mismanagement of pension payment records.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa on the following day hinted that those who refuse to return part of their bonus would not be hired by a new institution that the government is planning to establish in 2010 to replace the agency.

With this measure, the government is intending to obscure its political responsibility for the pension fiasco.

The mismanagement of pension records was caused by a political failure of the government to take appropriate measures when it introduced a system to give every pension account holder a basic pension number in 1997, not by mistakes made by the agency’s staff.

At the same time, while describing it as “voluntary,” the government is in fact violating the existing labor rules by making the partial return of bonuses a prerequisite for reemployment of the agency’s rank and file.

The need now is for the government to conduct a full investigation and guarantee the right of the public to receive pension benefits, instead of dodging its responsibility by forcing agency’s staff to return a part of their entitled bonuses. - Akahata, June 27, 2007
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