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  • "Educational Trust Fund" Helps Asset Transfer Between Generations Number of Applications are Increasing, but Consumers are Perplexed on the Payout Process

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"Educational Trust Fund" Helps Asset Transfer Between Generations
Number of Applications are Increasing, but Consumers are Perplexed on the Payout Process

August 20, 2014

Information Management Solution provider Toppan Forms Co., Ltd. (Toppan Forms hereunder) conducted a survey on a financial product "Educational Trust Fund" that provides tax exemption up to 15 million yen per person when grandparents entrust educational funds for their grandchildren.
The status of the entrustment for the Educational Trust Fund as of June end 2014 is 76,851 contracts and trust asset setting amount of 519.3 billion yen. (Published by General Incorporated Association Trust Companies Association of Japan on August 1, 2014) and is steadily increasing since the establishment of the framework in April 2013. Application and payout are expected to increase and interests are rising in the trust sector.
Toppan Forms conducted a survey to applicants of the Educational Trust Fund to help further promote the use of the framework by better understanding issues manifested by the settlement of the trust.

Overview of the Survey

  • 1. Awareness of the Education Trust Fund is 40% overall, but below 30% in the 20s to 30s generations.
    Where they learn about the trust is through "newspaper article and advertisement" and "sales representative of the financial institution" for settlors, and "TV program and commercial" for beneficiaries.
  • 2. Most settlors and beneficiaries came to the storefront to obtain the marketing material. The most common method for explanation between the settlor and beneficiary is face-to- face through "meeting in person to explain" and "sitting together at the financial institution".
  • 3. Over 70% said the application tool was "easy to understand" suggesting the effectiveness of the tool to promote the understanding.
  • 4. While there were fewer questions and uneasiness on the application process among the settlors, half of the beneficiaries were uneasy on the process due to the lack of understanding the framework.
  • 5. Approximately half of the beneficiaries surveyed had already experienced the payout. Problems related to the "long process" and "not being able to receive the payout" were also experienced suggesting that it is likely that the problems will increase in relation to the increase of the pay out to beneficiaries.

The survey resulted in 40% awareness (33,908 people above 25 years old) of Educational Trust Fund overall. Young generations in their 20s and 30s, on the other hand, had lower awareness. Moreover, of those who experienced the payout, 30.6% said they "were not able to receive the payout" which suggests their low understanding of the application process.
It became apparent that to understand the Educational Trust Fund, a face-to-face explanation would be necessary to resolve the anxiety of the payout beneficiaries. To reduce the inconvenience and trouble, it is necessary to promote the understanding by appropriately communicating the information between financial institutions, settlors, and beneficiaries. Toppan Forms will continually research on the communication method focused on appropriate information conveyance based on the result of the survey, and will continue to provide related information.

Survey Overview

  • Methodology : Web survey conducted by NEO MARKETING INC.
  • Target : Male and female above 25 years old (25 years to 49 years old with children, 50 years old with grandchildren)
  • Valid Responses : 33,908 people, 200 are Educational Trust Fund applicants (100 settlors* and 100 beneficiaries*)
  • Survey Period : July 18 through 23, 2014.(Details of the survey are indicated on a separate sheet)
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    i.e.) "According to the research conducted by Toppan Forms Co., Ltd.…"

  • * Settlor : Those who donate educational funding assistance to grandchildren and others through Educational Trust Fund.
  • * Beneficiary : Those who receive educational funding assistance from their grandparents through Educational Trust Fund. In this survey, beneficiary means parents of the actual beneficiary.

Survey Result

  • 1. The awareness of Educational Trust Fund is 40% overall and 30% for 20s to 30s generation.
    The settlor learns about the framework through "newspaper article/advertisement" and "sales representative of the financial institution." On the other hand, the beneficiary learns about it through "TV program/commercial."

When a question on the awareness of the Educational Trust Fund (Chart 1) was asked, 40% knew overall.
While the awareness was 40% among the senior age generation above 50 years old, who would be the settlors, the awareness among the beneficiaries and their parents (beneficiary hereafter) in their 20s to 40s were relatively low. It is, therefore, essential to increase the awareness of the younger generation when the application increases in the future.

Awareness of the Educational Trust Fund (Chart 1)

 The survey was conducted to those who applied for the Educational Trust Fund out of all those who were aware of the framework.
When a question was asked on where they learned about the Educational Trust Fund (Chart 2) results differed between settlor and beneficiary. While many settlors became aware through "newspaper article and advertisement" and "sales representative of the financial institution" many beneficiaries learned about it through "TV program and commercial."


Where They Learned about the Trust (Chart 2)
  • 2. The highest number of both settlors and beneficiaries visited the storefront to request marketing materials.
    There were many settlors and beneficiaries who "met in person to be explained" and "sat together at the financial institution" to learn about the trust suggesting most preferred face to face explanation.

The highest number of request for marketing materials on Educational Trust Fund, both for settlor and beneficiary, was through visits to the storefront. This suggests that the trust was explained in person during the visit that leads to a request for the material. Also, 46.0% of beneficiaries requested through the website that is twice the number of settlors.


Method of Requesting Material (Chart 3)

When a question was asked about the method of explanation on the framework and the trust between the settlor and beneficiary (Chart 4), most said face-to-face method by "sitting together at the financial institution" and "explaining in person" was appropriate, suggesting that explanation only by material is difficult and face-to-face is additionally necessary to promote understanding .

Method of Explanation (Chart 4)
  • 3. Over 70% said that the application tool was "easy to understand" suggesting that the tool is effective in promoting understanding.

The total number, who said that the application tool (application form, fill instruction, pamphlets, and others) is "easy to understand", was high among both settlor and beneficiary. 74.0% of the settlors and 79.0% of the beneficiaries said it was "easy to understand" suggesting the application process was highly favorable.


Understanding of Application Tool(Forms, Fill-in Guide, Pamphret) (Chart 5)
  • 4. As for feeling uneasy and having questions during the application process, while a relatively smaller number of settlors had questions, approximately half of the beneficiaries were uneasy with the process saying that the "framework is difficult to understand".

Regarding uneasiness and questions during the application process (Chart 6), 46.0% of the settlors said "there are no uneasiness and difficulty" but, on the other hand, only 20.0% of the beneficiaries answered similarly. Over half (55.0%) stated "the framework is difficult to understand" suggesting that there needs to be more considerations on clearly explaining beforehand about the framework and how to apply for the payout.


Uneasiness and Doubts(Chart 6)
  • 5. Approximately half of the beneficiaries had experienced the payout.
    However, there were many issues related to the "long process" and "not being able to receive the payout".

When a question was asked on the experience of the payout to only the beneficiary (Chart 7) it became clear that approximately half had already experienced the payout. The fact that approximately half already experienced the payout only after one year since its inception suggests that the Educational Trust Fund is greatly assisting the grandchild's generation with their education.


Exerienced Pay Out (n=100) (Chart 7)

When a question was asked to those that experienced the payout on their inconvenience (Chart 8) approximately 30% said they "were not able to receive the payout". Moreover, approximately 50% said, "it took a long time until they received the payout" and approximately 30% said "flaws were pointed out when documents were submitted". While many respondents answered that the framework was explained in person before the application process, and the application tool is easy to understand, suggesting that the application process itself is easily understood, it also suggests that the difficult understanding of the framework and flaws in documents are causing difficulties in receiving the payout, and hence further follow-ups are necessary.


Flaws During Pay Out (n=49) (Chart 8)
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