The Japanese Cabinet approved bills Tuesday to help citizens work until they are 70 years old, as part of an effort to address an expected labor shortage in the future and the rising cost of pensions.
The bills give companies the option of raising the retirement age or allowing employees to work beyond that limit. Two other bills encourage companies to hire the elderly as freelancers or assign them to philanthropic efforts.
The new set of laws would raise the maximum retirement age from 65 to 70. The government is also planning to reduce benefits for workers aged 60 to 64. The Cabinet, though, is not considering increasing the starting age for those receiving a pension.
The bills, six in all that address the elderly and employment, are expected to the Diet and if passed could go into effect in early 2021. Japan is expected to face a shortfall of 6.44 million workers by 2030, according to the Chuo University and Persol Research and Consulting.
One in three Japanese will be 65 or older by 2025.