So the Japanese government must be really itching for a way to pull a nice “these aren’t the droids your looking for” on the public to take attention away from the pension problems.
Here’s the deal in a nutshell. Everyone in Japan has to pay into a national pension plan. Everyone trusts the government. The government lost the records of millions and millions of people. The people say, “We paid!” The government says, “Prove it!”
Now everyone’s in a pickle because the only proof that exists is some little number in a little book that no one knew would mean so much. The other problem is that when people paid into the pension plans, names were input incorrectly, people changed their names or got married, birthdates were not recorded or recorded incorrectly.
There are also rumors (probably true, although the news stories are hard to find) that Social Insurance Department officials paid funds with incorrect data to themselves, or embezzled it in other ways. There are also reports that the funds were illegally used to fund other projects or diverted to other government agencies.
Anyway here’s a short reading list for you.
The next article mentions some of the input mistakes and the cases of employees making pension payments which were deliberately kept (embezzled) by the company.
Govt, DPJ Back Pension Bill / Legislation to Aid Workers Whose Employers Did Not Pay Premiums (Nov 25, 2007)
The next one talks about the agency officials embezzling the funds.
Investigators:Japan Pension Agency Officials Embezzled Equivalent of Millions of Dollars (Sept 4, 2007)
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