Sojitz Corporation


Announcement of the Dissolution of the "Nissho Iwai Employee Pension Funds" and the Introduction of the "21st Century Retirement Plan"

Mar. 27, 2002

TOKYO(March27, 2002)--Following Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approval on March 19, for the dissolution of "Nissho Iwai Employee Pension Funds", Nissho Iwai Corporation dissolved said funds on March 20. Moreover, on March 26, Nissho Iwai received approval for the introduction of the "Defined Contribution Pension Plan (Japanese 401k plan)" and has decided to drastically change its retirement plan.

As a radical reform of the retirement plan, Nissho Iwai has dissolved the "Nissho Iwai Employee Pension Funds", and will carry out further sweeping reforms - changing from the "Defined Benefits Pension Plan" to the "Defined Contribution Pension Plan", as well as adopting the "Advanced Retirement Allowance". The "21st Century Retirement Plan", which has the "Defined Contribution Pension Plan" and the "Advanced Retirement Allowance" as its pillars, will be introduced from April.

According to the policy of "Concentrate resources in strategic core business", Nissho Iwai is currently strengthening the foundation of its business, while spinning off companies into subsidiaries and forming strategic alliances, through all of which the company aims to maximize the corporate value throughout the whole group. The "21st Century Retirement Plan", which is based on the concept of "fostering employee autonomy" and "securing the flexible transfer of group personnel with consolidated management in mind", supports company-wide strategies from the personnel system aspect. The "Defined Contribution Pension Plan" is characterized by its portability (transferable to new places of employment), presents no disadvantages relating to the length of service when transferred within group companies, and enables careers to be developed autonomously.

Upon dissolving the "Nissho Iwai Employee Pension Funds", a briefing on system transition was given to the 2,647 Fund members, and their approval was confirmed. Nissho Iwai obtained the consent of approximately 2,200 members - 85% of the entire membership. 

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