Local government employees across the country are rushing to retire early before the government’s planned retirement allowance cut takes effect in February.
As of Thursday, 473 police officers and teachers in seven prefectures had signaled their intention to take early retirement, TV Asahi reported Friday. The prefecture with the highest number of retirees was Aichi with 142, followed by Saitama with 137, Hyogo with over 90 and Saga with 52. Most of those workers were due to retire on March 31.
The early retirements are the result of prefectural governments following the central government’s lead to cut benefits for government employees. The projected reduction in retirement allowance would mean up to 1.5 million yen less for teachers and police officers, if they waited until March 31.
Critics say that leaving in the middle of the financial year is a dereliction of duty and that a sudden decrease in the number of police officers, for example, may have an effect on the NPA’s ability to preserve the peace. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the national teachers union said, “The problem is with the system. We would like to see a system that supports and encourages our teachers.”