Public Pension Scheme
All registered residents of Japan over the age of 20 and under the age of 60, including foreigners, are required to join the National Pension Scheme. In addition to the Old-age Pension, which is paid to those who reach a certain age, the Disability Pension and Survivor’s Pension are also paid in some cases.
Old-age Basic Pension: For those who have been paying contributions for 10 years or more, and are over the age of 65.
Disability Basic Pension: For those who, while participating in the pension scheme, have gotten sick or injured and possess level 1 or 2 disability.
Survivor’s Basic Pension: When an insured person dies while participating in the pension scheme, either the deceased’s spouse who takes care of their dependent child(ren), or their dependent child(ren) themselves, receive this pension. * “Child(ren)” refers to “an individual who has not turned 18 years old by the last day of the fiscal year (March 31)” or “an individual aged 20 years or below who possesses level 1 or 2 disability for Disability Basic Pension”.
Categories and Procedures for Applicants
Applicants fall under one of three categories, and procedures differ by category.
Category 1 insured persons
Self-employed persons, workers in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, part-timers, students, unemployed persons, etc. (except for those insured under Category 2 or 3).
* For those who fall under Category 1, after applying for the Resident Registration at the ward office, conduct the necessary procedures at the same ward office’s National Pension Section.
Category 2 insured persons
Persons who have Employees’ Pensions, such as company employees and government employees.
* Employees’ Pensions are earnings-related pensions. Contributions are paid equally by the employer and the insured person.
* Procedures are conducted through the place of employment, so the insured person does not need to do anything.
For details, please inquire with your employer.
Category 3 insured persons
Spouses who are dependant of Category 2 insured person.
* Procedures are conducted at the spouse’s place of employment. For details, please inquire with your spouse’s employer.
Contribution Waiver System
If you have difficulty paying contributions due to economic reasons, you may be exempted from paying half or the entire amount, or may postpone your contribution payments once your application is approved. There is also a student special payment system. For details, please consult your ward office’s Health Insurance & Pension Section.
Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment
If you are a foreign national who has been paying contributions for the National Pension Scheme or Employees’ Pension without receiving any benefits (including Disability Pension), and no longer qualify to receive pension by leaving Japan, you can receive a lump-sum withdrawal payment based on your coverage period if you apply for it within two years of leaving Japan. For application procedures and the refund amount, please refer to the following website:
(in 9 languages including English, Chinese, and Korean).
Japan Pension Service Website
Multilingual Pamphlet Regarding the Pension System
National Health Insurance Section and Medical Expense and Pension Section Website