Employee Benefits in Japan

Date: 2015-09

The Japanese social security system is designed to assure a minimum standard of living to its citizens, as well as protection from social and economic risks. It consists of the following components: a public pension system, health services, and personal social services for the elderly and the disabled, family policy to support working women, employment of senior workers, and public assistance. Japan follows a multi-tier pension system, which includes public and private pension schemes. The public pension and healthcare systems are comprehensive, covering all citizens of the country. The country’s healthcare system is characterized by a fee-for-service practice, and the free choice of healthcare providers. However, personal social services and family policy are the relatively underdeveloped social security fields. The promotion of equal opportunity and treatment for female workers, labor shortage and the declining trend of fertility rates were the primary motives behind the introduction of a family policy for working women. The employment of senior workers scheme is intended to encourage older workers participate in the labor market, making them pay tax and social insurance contributions. Public assistance covers less than 1% of the total population. In Japan, defined-contribution (DC) and defined-benefit (DB) plans were introduced in 2001. Voluntary private pension plans can take a variety of forms in Japan.

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