TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan’s new tax-free savings scheme had attracted more than 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion) of funds three months after its introduction, largely from investors aged over sixty.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government hopes the tax-free Nippon Individual Savings Account (NISA) will encourage some of an estimated $8 trillion in individual savings into investments including stocks and mutual funds to help spur economic growth.
The amount invested in NISAs has grown at a health pace since introduction in January, the Financial Services Agency’s survey of 686 financial firms showed on Monday.
The government has projected the scheme could attract more than 25 trillion yen ($245 billion) in total by 2020.
Under the NISA scheme, anyone over 20 years old can invest up to the equivalent of $9,800, or 1 million yen, each year.
The government hopes to draw younger investors to start investing in financial products through the plan, although there is little sign of that so far.
Out of a total of 6.5 million NISA accounts, 59.8 percent were held by investors aged 60 or more, while investors in their twenties accounted for just 3.2 percent.
$1 = 102.0500 Japanese Yen Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Mark Potter