Finance Minister Taro Aso indicated June 11 that he will instruct the Financial Services Agency to retract a report on pensions that triggered huge public misgivings over its assertion that elderly couples would need substantial life savings to survive.

Opposition parties, in Diet debate, focused on a finding that a typical elderly Japanese couple will require an additional 20 million yen ($184,175) in savings to make ends meet through their post-retirement life.

Aso apparently was eager to avoid having the FSA's report become a major issue in the Upper House election slated for late next month.

The report also generated criticism within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Aso, who oversees the FSA, told a June 11 news conference: "(The report) created tremendous worries among the public and is also different from the government's policy stance. I have no intention of accepting it if it is submitted as the final report."

Aso called the wording in the FSA report "extremely inappropriate."

One aim of the report was to urge the public to spread out the use of their assets because higher life expectancy was applying pressure on pension payouts, despite government assurances that the system is sustainable for another 100 years.

One calculation included in the report centered on a hypothetical couple who were not working and depended on their pensions.

The husband, aged 65 or older, and wife, aged 60 or older, would run a monthly "deficit" of about 50,000 yen in living expenses, according to the report. If the couple survived for 20 to 30 years, the total amount they would need to cover the deficit would run to between 13 million yen and 20 million yen.