Cash balance plans touted for Japanese pension funds

Shifting sands in Japanese corporate pensions will give cash balance plans their day in the sun, argues Mizuho exec.

Kazuhiko Ishikawa, certified pension actuary at Mizuho Trust Banking, believes a new hybrid retirement plan scheme will be embraced by most Japanese companies over the coming years.

As of April this year, the government has allowed companies to provide cash balance plans to fund employees' retirement. So far there have not been any takers, but this silence will prove short-lived.

Cash balanced plans are meant to complement existing defined benefit plans, of which there are two categories, as well as the nascent defined contribution schemes. A lot of growth in cash balanced plans will come slowly over the next decade as one type of DB programme, the tax-qualified pension plan TQPP, is phased out....

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