As a general rule, everyone living in Japan aged 20 to 59 must enroll in National Pension (国民年金//Kokumin Nenkin). If you work for a company (etc.), you will also be enrolled in Employee Pension Insurance (厚生年金//Kōsei Nenkin).
How to enroll
Enroll in National Pension at the National Insurance and Pension Division of your local ward office or branch office. However, those enrolled in Employee Pension and spouses supported by those enrolled in Employee Pension should file paperwork at their own or their spouse’s place of employment.
National Pension payments
If you are enrolled in National Pension, you must pay the insurance premium. If it is difficult for you to pay the premium because of reasons such as financial problems, you can apply for partial or total exemption from premiums. For further information, contact the National Insurance and Pension Division of your local ward office or branch office.
Types of pension
Basic Pension for the Elderly
Who’s Eligible: Paid to people 65 or older who have been enrolled in a public pension for a total of ten years or longer (including periods of time it was deemed by a government office that they did not need to pay insurance premiums).
Basic Pension for the Disabled
Who’s Eligible: Paid to people enrolled in National Pension who become ill or injured to a certain degree.
Basic Pension for the Bereaved
Who’s Eligible: People who died while enrolled in National Pension; either paid to their spouse (if their spouse was their dependent and is now taking care of a child or children) or to the deceased’s dependent child or children.
To be entitled to the Basic Pension for the Disabled or the Basic Pension for the Bereaved, you need to fulfill certain payment-related criteria.
For further information, contact the National Insurance and Pension Division of your local ward office or branch office.
Note:The Ninoshima Branch Office does not deal with pensions.
Lump-Sum Withdrawal (refunding your pension)
If you leave the National Pension system, you may be eligible to receive a Lump-Sum Withdrawal (脱退一時金//Dattai Ichiji Kin). You must fulfill all of the following criteria and apply within two years after leaving Japan. The sum you receive will be determined on how long you paid insurance premiums.
1. Those without Japanese nationality.
2. Those who have paid National Pension premiums for six months or longer.
3. Those without an address in Japan.
4. Those who never had the right to receive pension payments (including disability allowance).
After leaving Japan, mail the following to Japan Pension Service: 1) a Request for Lump-Sum Withdrawal Form (脱退一時金請求書//Dattai Ichiji Kin Seikyūsho); 2) documents that confirm your basic pension number (for example, your pension book or Basic Pension Number Notice); 3) photocopies of the pages in your passport that show your name, date of birth, nationality, signature, and residency status; 4) documents that indicate the name of your bank and bank account number (etc.).
Japan Pension Service
Address: 3-5-24 Takaido-nishi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505
Tel: 0570-05-1165 (for calls made within Japan) // +81-3-6700-1165 (for calls made from outside of Japan)