Japanese Post Offices Set To Distribute 401(k) Style Investments

October 29, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Japan's Postal Services Agency has cobbled together a deal with 13 domestic and foreign financial institutions to handle their 401(k)-style investment products at post offices across the nation.

Beginning in January, post offices will sell deposit instruments and investment funds from these firms as part of a DC-style pension program for the self-employed and employees of small businesses.

The 13 financial firms include:

  • Daiwa Bank
  • Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co.
  • Chuo Mitsui Trust & Banking Co.
  • Nomura Asset Management Co.
  • Nikko Asset Management Co.
  • State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co.
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Managers Co.
  • Goldman Sachs Investment Trust Management Co.
  • Fidelity Investments Japan Ltd.

Post offices will serve as brokerage centers where specialized staff members will provide explanations of the new retirement savings plan and the different investment and savings options that members can choose from, according to reports.

This is the first time that postal staff will be selling investment funds where principal is at risk. For this reason, the agency will limit fund sales next year to 700 post offices where staff members with specialized training in investments can be placed.

The network of post offices offering investment funds is expected to expand to 1,300 in April 2003, according to Dow Jones.