Public Pension Insurance System

The Japanese Public Pension Insurance system is composed by the following 2 major plans;

Most people join either of these 2 plans. However, these 2 plans don't simply parallel each other. The National Pension Insurance plan is often compared to the first floor of a building, and the Employees' Pension Insurance Plan is compared to the second floor. It means the former is designated as the primary plan and the latter is an expanded plan for specified regular employees. Indeed, the insureds of the Enployees' pension insurance plan are treated as if they also join the National pension insurance plan, via it.

The Insurance Benefits of these plans are payments of pensions, of course. People, who contribute the premiums for at least 10 years, shall receive pension benefits since they meet the prescribed criteria. The most common one is to reach the age of 65. The amount of the pension benefits varies according to how much and how long the relevant insured contributes until he/she gets qualified.

However, many people, particularly under 40', assume the pension benefits shall not be proportionate to the premiums burden, because the Japanese public pension insurance system appears almost financially ruined. Therefore, the premiums imposed by this system is sometimes regarded as a kind of taxes without any promise of a return. I agree to the opinion to some extent. But, I would like to note that the contribution of the premiums of the public insurance system shall be a better investment than most of private financial products. Even though it seems never enough to secure youre revenues after you retire by age, the benefits can help you in case you become disabled.

〔In Japanese〕


これらの2制度は、並列的なものではありません。国民年金保険は建物の1階部分に、厚生年金保険が建物の2階部分に例えられることも多くあります。 その意味は、国民年金保険が基盤となる制度であって、厚生年金保険は一定の正規従業員のために拡充された制度として設計されているということです。 たとえば、厚生年金保険の加入者は、厚生年金制度を通じて国民年金保険にも加入しているかのように扱われます。



Insureds ant the classification

All Japanese adults are supposed to join a public pension insurance plan. This rule is applied to foreign nationals living in Japan, too.

However, there is an important exception regarding foreigners. Japane concludes the Social Security Agreements with many countries, in order to keep their nationals from the futile redundant enrollment into the public pension plans of plural countries. The countries include USA, China, Korea and etc,. Those who work at companies of these countries and are dispatched to an office in Japan for a period shorter than 5 years are the common case as the eligible people of the exceotional treatment. They are exempt from the enrollement into the Japanese public pension insurance system. In suce cases, the eligible people are supposed to get an appropriate certificate from the relevant bureau of the home country and present the certificate to the Japanese penson office.

The insureds of the Japanese public pension insurance system are classified into the following 3 categories;

(1) TYPE 1 Insured

People listed below, at the age from 20 through 60, are classified into the TYPE 1 insureds. They are covered by the National Pension Insurance plan.

(2) TYPE 2 Insured

People listed below are classified into the TYPE 2 insureds. They are covered by the Employees' Pension Insurance plan.

(3) TYPE 3 Insured

Spouses of the TYPE 2 insureds, who meet all of the following conditions are classified into the TYPE 3 insureds. They are covered by the Employees' Pension Insurance plan, combined with their husbands/wives.

〔In Japanese〕


しかし、外国人に関しては重要な例外があります。日本は多くの国と社会保障協定を締結し、互いにその国民が複数の社会保障制度に組み込まれることによる無駄を排除することとしています。  この相手国には、米国や中国、韓国が含まれます。これらの国々の会社に勤めている人が5年を超えない期間について日本の事業所に配属された場合が、その典型的な適用対象者です。 この制度の適用対象となってい人は、日本の公的年金制度に加入することを免除されます。この場合、本国の管轄官庁から証明書の発行を受け、日本の年金事務所に提示します。


(1) 第1号被保険者


(2) 第2号被保険者


(3) 第3号被保険者


Handling when an insureds leave Japan

The insureds are required to contribute the premiums for more than 10 years to be qualified as the pension beneficiaries. But many foreigners shall leave Japan and withdraw from the Japanese public pension system before they get quarified. Do the contributions in such cases go in vain? No.

An insured who is not a Japanese national, can claim the lump-sum withdrawal refund when he/she leave the system, provided he/she has paid the premiums for 6 months or longer.

Besides, if the insured are from the countries which conclude appropriate agreements with Japan, he/she may have an alternative way to keep his/her contibution valuable. The countries implement a rule which makes the enrollment period in the Japanese public pension system added to the enrollment period in the corresponding system in the home country. For example, Germany, UK, Korea, USA, France, Australia and etc,. have such rules. If you leave for these countries, maybe it is more advantageous than to claim the Lump Sum Withdrawal payment.

〔In Japanese〕

もし、年金の受給権を得るためには10年間の保険料納付期間があることが必要ですが、多くの外国人はその前に日本から出国することになります。この場合、年金保険料の納付は無駄になってしまうのでしょうか? そうではありません。