National Pension [The pension systems in Japan]

The Japanese pension system is composed of national pension (kokumin nenkin) and employees' pension (kosei nenkin). Any resident in Japan who is between 20 and 59 years of age, including non-Japanese nationals, is required to enroll in a pension system. Click on the links below for more information.

National Pension (kokumin nenkin, 国民年金)

  The national pension system aims to provide a common "basic pension" to all residents in Japan. There are three types of basic pension: basic pension for the disabled, basic pension for the bereaved and basic pension for the elderly.

  The basic pension for the disabled is paid under certain conditions when a pensioner becomes disabled due to illness or injury. The basic pension for the bereaved is paid to a pensioner's wife and child(ren) under certain conditions when a pensioner dies. The basic pension for the elderly is payable in principal to a pensioner at the age of 65.

  The following information explains more about the basic pension for the elderly: You need to be enrolled in the national pension plan and have paid premiums for 25 years or longer to be eligible for the elderly basic pension.
If you pay premiums for at least 25 years, you will receive the pension payment whether or not you live in Japan at the age of 65 (the payment is sent to your place of residence).
 To start receiving the pension payments, you need to complete claims procedures when you turn 65 years of age.
First, you need to confirm your eligibility by submitting the designated form (a request for determination of eligibility for the elderly basic pension of national pension/employees' pension) to a local social insurance office.
 
  A non-Japanese national who lived in Japan and paid the national pension premiums may be eligible to receive a lump-sum withdrawal payment (dattai ichijikin, 脱退一時金) if he/she permanently leaves Japan and meets the following conditions;
1) Does not hold Japanese nationality;
2) No longer resides in Japan;
3) Was enrolled in the national pension plan or employees' pension plan (having paid the premiums of the pension plan) for at least six months;
4) Has not received any pension payments including a disability allowance (shogai teatekin); and
5) Submits by mail a claim form for the withdrawal payment and necessary documents to the social insurance operation center within two years of his/her permanent departure from Japan.
  Claim forms are available at City Hall in English. The amount of the withdrawal payment may vary according to the length of enrollment. Remember that your “lump-sum” will be subject to a 20% income tax. You have to file a separate form to exempt yourself from that tax.

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