Japan’s health minister told to hurry up pensions reform

09 June 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Japan   By Daniel Shane

Japan’s health minister said that he has been ordered by the country’s prime minister to hurry up with asset allocation reform at the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF).

The GPIF, the world’s largest retirement savings manager with US$1.26 trillion in AUM, is currently undergoing a review that could see it allocate less of its portfolio to low-yielding domestic government securities and more to higher yielding stocks and overseas debt.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura, whose department the GPIF falls under, said that Shinzo Abe had instructed him to encourage the fund to quicken the review process, according to Reuters.

Japan’s health ministry this week completed an evaluation of its public pensions system, which could pave the way for the GPIF to begin reshuffling its portfolio with stronger weightings towards higher-yielding assets.

Mr. Abe has been pushing the GPIF to become more adventurous with its investing, including shaking up and expanding the fund’s investment committee, which could be given new beefed-up powers to allocate more to higher-yielding assets.

About 60% of the retirement savings manager’s assets are currently held in domestic government debt, which includes some of the lowest yielding sovereign bonds on the planet.