lifestyle

A guide to pensions for foreign residents in Japan

10 Comments
By Liam Carrigan

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?

Click here to read more.

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10 Comments
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Assuming the pension system hasn't crashed by the time we retire... In my case though, I believe my home country (Canada) and Japan have an agreement to pay the pension of citizens who qualify for a pension who are living in the other country - for example, if I pay all my pension dues in Japan but then retire in Canada, I'll get paid a pension by the Canadian government. The same thing would be true for a Japanese person who paid in Canada and then retired in Japan. I think it also works if you pay part in Japan and part in Canada, as long as the total period is at least 25 years or something like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dont even think paying in this pension... you will never get a yen out of it... simple 5th grad maths will tell you..

i know a few foreigners living in japan and they havnt paid anything... no pension and no health insurance and for sure no nhk...

save the money for yourself and buy some gold and silver cos this will still have value after all the paper funny money will return to its inner value ZERO... research past 5000 years in history of gold/silver and paper money and the lights will go off....

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

My company has its own pension fund and I keep my orginal health insurance from back home its a little more expensive but it covers my family even if they are japanese and my house im my country is still climbing in over worth so my pension is secured.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I paid into the National Pension scheme here as well as National Health Insurance. I am now collecting the minimum National Pension, but that is due to the number of years I contributed. With my (Japanese) corporate pension and return from investments I have a modest though adequate income. No complaint. That's playing by the rules. HOWEVER, I know foreigners who have been here for 20 years or more and have never put 1 yen into the national pension and health insurance schemes. To them I say "Pay in or get out."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I always wondered but do foreigners pay the same amount of pension each month as Japanese people? I have heard that foreigners pay more.

Also I'm intrigued at how some foreigners can avoid paying for pension or health insurance? Wouldn't the bailiffs visit? My company just takes it out of my salary every month so I have no choice but to pay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always wondered but do foreigners pay the same amount of pension each month as Japanese people? I have heard that foreigners pay more.

We pay the same. Deductions are based on income, not nationality.

Also I'm intrigued at how some foreigners can avoid paying for pension or health insurance?

The same way some Japanese do - they just don't pay it.

Wouldn't the bailiffs visit?

No.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

xpurinx at Apr. 16, 2017 - 11:09PM JST "...Also I'm intrigued at how some foreigners can avoid paying for pension or health insurance? Wouldn't the bailiffs visit? My company just takes it out of my salary every month so I have no choice but to pay." ............................................................................................................

Some foreigners don't pay because their companies want to save money. I don't know how much or even if companies pay into the National Pension for their employees, but they are obliged to do so for Shakai Hoken (one source of insurance through an employer). That some companies would want to avoid paying is no surprise. That the government would permit it is. Some companies offer employees "travel" insurance that their employees may use within Japan. The racket has been going on for years and the government can't be unaware of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Click here to read more"

There is no link to click, it seems to be missing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The important news about pensions for many foreign residents in Japan is that you from this autumn you qualify for a pension if you have ten years payments. It is paid pro rata. For example, as the period to qualify for a full pension is forty years, if you paid ten years you would get one quarter of the full pension. This applies to the national pension and the civil servants pension (i.e. if you work in a public high school or university). I don't know how it works for company pensions, but it's worth checking out. It's true even if you leave Japan - your pension can be paid into your foreign bank account.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The good news about pensions for at least some foreign residents in Japan is that you now qualify for a pension if you have made ten years payments. This is paid pro rata. If you pay the maximum number of payments of forty years then you get the full pension. If you've paid for ten years you would get one quarter, and so on. This applies to the national pension and the civil servants pension (i.e. you work for a public high school or university) I don't know how it applies to company pensions, but it's worth checking out. It applies even if you leave Japan, as it can be paid into your foreign bank account.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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