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Conrad, H (2012)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
This article discusses significant changes of Japanese occupational pensions since the early 2000s. Our analysis shows that these schemes have been key components of policies to promote private welfare provision and have been highly compatible with human capital investment strategies that are based on long-term employment relationships of regular workers. However, since the 1990s, occupational pensions have come under increased pressure due to underfunding problems caused by depressed stock markets and changes in accounting standards that made these underfunding problems apparent. In response to these challenges, Japanese companies have restructured their occupational pension arrangements. The nature of these efforts can be explained with reference to existing institutional complementarities with the economic system on the one hand and changes in the cost–benefit calculations of employers, employees and the civil service on the other hand. Whereas complementarities, especially with human resource management factors, have ultimately defined the limits of these changes, an actor-centered analysis helps to explain the particular nature of changes within these boundaries.
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