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Update:November 9, 2018

Pension system

Under the pension system, the insured party pays premiums to receive benefits after retirement and in the event of becoming unable to work due to disability or death, in order to support the livelihood of the insured and their family.

National Pension Plan (Kokumin Nenkin)

All residents of Japan aged between 20 and 59 are obliged to join this basic pension plan. Procedures are completed at the ward office (page. (except for residents from countries exempted by the relevant treaty).
Premiums can be paid automatically using the account transfer systems provided by financial institutions, or directly at financial institutions or convenience stores, by credit card, or by electronic payment systems.
For company employees, government employees and teachers (including their dependent spouse), the employer performs the necessary procedures; such workers do not need to pay premiums individually.

Employees’ Pension/Mutual Aid Pension Programs (Kosei Nenkin)

In addition to the National Pension Plan that everyone is obliged to join, the Employee’s Pension Program is also compulsory for those employed by companies, and for public servants and teachers. The employer performs the necessary procedures, and premiums are withheld automatically from monthly salaries.

Receiving pensions

Pensions are paid to those aged 65 years or older, with disabilities, and families of insured parties who have died. Payments are dependent on the fulfillment of fixed criteria including the length of time for which premiums have been paid. For details, contact your nearest Pension Office.

Lump-sum withdrawal payments (dattai ichijikin)

Foreign nationals who belonged to the National Pension Plan/Employee’s Pension Program and paid premiums for six months or more can receive a lump-sum withdrawal payment provided that it is claimed within two years after leaving Japan. For details, contact the relevant social insurance office.

Japan Pension Service Branch Offices (page.

Japan Pension Service Website (information on lump-sum withdrawal payments)

(Japanese/English/Chinese/Korean/Portuguese/Spanish/Indonesian/Filipino/Thai/Vietnamese/Malay/Burmese/and Khmer (Cambodian))

Social Security Agreement

People living in Japan that are 20-59 years of age are obligated to be under Japanese pension programs. However, if you are already registered under your home country’s social security system, you may run into issues having to cover for insurances for both countries or have to pay for premiums which offer no refund payments if you stay for a short period of time. In order to prevent such problems, this Social Security Agreement has been organized.

Goals of the Social Security Agreement:

  • To adjust pension systems among countries to prevent double burden of pension fees
  • To enable you to receive pension benefits from your home country and  ensure that you are not prevented from being able to receive insurance refunds by transferring the number of years enrolled in Japanese pension systems as years contributed to the pension systems of the home country (transferring of pension program participation years).

The countries participating in the Social Security Agreement as of August 2017 are listed below. Please be aware that “double burden prevention” and “the transferring of pension program participation years” are only agreed to by the following countries:

Germany, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, United States of America, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, Switzerland, Hungary, India, Luxembourg.

Japan's agreements with the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea do not include transferring of pension program participation years.

Please contact local pension offices (page. for necessary procedures.

Japan Pension Service website (Information on the Social Security Agreement) (Japanese)

(English/Chinese/Portuguese/Spanish/Korean/Filipino/Russian/Indonesia/Thai/Vietnamese, Burmese, and Khmer (Cambodian))