It used to be the case that the vast majority of those who came to Japan did so with the intention of staying here for one or two years, gaining some experience, perhaps picking up some of the language, and then heading back home to “get a real job.” However, these days, it’s no longer so clear cut.
More and more people are choosing to stay here for several years, or as in my own case, to make this country their permanent home.
Whilst this has the obvious benefit for the government of additional workers contributing additional tax revenue, it also creates some headaches for both the foreign residents and the bureaucracy that administers their benefits.
To say that Japan’s pension system is complicated is a bit like saying that the sun is rather warm. It is a confusing, confounding mess, unless you know where to find the information you need. Thankfully, I did the reading so you don’t have to!
So here is a breakdown of Japan’s pension system and how it applies to you.
Everyone gets one
In principle, everyone in Japan who is working and is aged between 20 and 60 should be enrolled in the national pension system. If your prospective employer offers you a full-time job and doesn’t mention pension enrolment, be very suspicious.
The exceptions to this are people who are not working and instead have a dependant who is enrolled in the system. Additionally, some companies may also offer a private, company-subsidized pension scheme to their workers but this is in addition to, not as an alternative, to the basic national pension system.
Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get into some figures. How much will you need to pay each month to cover your pension contributions?
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