As required by law, payments to Pension Insurance will be deducted from JET/WI-ALTs' remuneration each month. You can receive pension after you pay in for 25 years, and you receive it when you reach age 65. The employer and employee each pay half of the premium.

Since you have made contributions for 6 months or more, you are entitled to a lump-sum refund 堕胎一時金 (daittai ichijikin) of up to half of three years of benefits. Half of three years’ benefits is the maximum amount which means that if you have paid in for more than three years, you will lose money. To make this claim, you have to ask for it within two years of leaving Japan and designate someone in Japan to apply on your behalf (because you become entitled for the refund after you have left Japan). You can also file to receive a refund on the 20% flat tax placed on the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment.

Pension Blue Book: During your stay in Japan you will be given a blue pension book. Please do not lose this book as you cannot apply for your pension refund without it.

Most of this information is taken from the General Information Handbook p. 157-165 PDF p. 78-82 and from the official guide published by the National Tax Agency.

Am I eligible for the pension refund?

In order to be eligible, you must fulfill all of the following conditions (most JETs and WI-ALTs are eligible):
  • send your Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments within two years of leaving Japan
  • not possess Japanese citizenship
  • have paid Employees' Pension Insurance premiums for six months or more (you pay into this automatically as a JET/WI-ALT, see Insurance)
  • not have a place of residence in Japan (submit a moving-out notification before leaving)
  • never qualified for pension benefits (including Disability Allowance)

How to file for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment

  1. Before leaving, get the necessary forms and designate a tax agent
  2. After leaving Japan, mail the necessary forms to the Japan Pension Service to claim a refund
  3. Receive the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment into your overseas bank account
  4. Mail notice of refund to your tax agent in Japan
  5. Tax agent files for a refund of the tax on the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment
  6. Tax agent receives the tax refund
  7. Tax agent transfers the money to you

1. Get forms and designate tax agent before you leave Japan

Before leaving Japan, obtain the form "Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment Arbitration Bill" (脱退一時金請求書 dattai ichijikin seikyusho) from the Japan Pension Service Office (年金事務所 nenkin jimusho) or the National Pension Section of your local city office. You can also download it as a PDF (the form is on page 11)
(source in English or in Japanese). Fill out the necessary information using your blue Pension Book.



You will also need to obtain the form "Notification of Tax Agent" (納税管理人の届出書(外国人用) nozeikanrinin no todokedesho (gaikokujin yo)) from your local tax office branch (税務署 zeimusho).

English:


Japanese:


Submit this form to the tax office with jurisdiction over where you last lived before departure from Japan; if you leave Japan without submitting it, you can file it when making your claim for a tax refund. Your tax agent will be the person to forward you your money, so choose someone responsible whom you trust and can easily contact (must be a resident of Japan but does not need to be Japanese). No one, including your supervisor/CO, is obligated to be your tax agent.

Be sure to bring home:
  • Your blue Pension Book (年金手帳 nenkin techō)
  • Contact information for your designated tax representative, your school/office, and your contracting organization

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2. Once home, mail forms to the Japan Pension Service

Attach the following items to your claim form:
  • A copy of your passport (the page(s) showing your status of residence and the date of your final departure from Japan, as well as the page(s) showing your name, DOB, nationality, signature, etc.)
  • If your claim form is not stamped with a certified bank stamp, a document (a copy of your bank statement, bank passbook, etc.) which verifies your bank's name, branch office name, branch address, bank account number, and the full name of the account holder (must be your name) must be attached.
  • Your Pension Book (**make a note of your Basic Pension Number (基礎年金番号 kiso nenkin bangou))
Send these items and your claim form to:
Japan Pension Service
3-5-24 Takaido-nishi
Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505
JAPAN
〒168-8505
東京都杉並区高井戸西3-5-24
日本年金機構本部
If you need to contact them about the status of your application, you will need your Basic Pension Number (基礎年金番号 kiso nenkin bangou) so write it down before sending in your application.
TEL: 03-6700-1165
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3. Receive refund into your overseas bank account

With your money, you will receive a "Notice on Payment of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (Entitlement)" (脱退一時金支給決定通知書 dattai ichijikin shikyuu kettei tsuuchisho). You need these to get back the tax on your refund.

How much money will I get back?

The amount you will get back depends on the term of appointment, so it will vary according to when you arrived in Japan and the rate you paid.
Total number of months you paid in
Your payment amount if your last contribution was made between Apr 2014-Mar 2015
6-11 months
45,750
12-17 months
91,500
18-23 months
137,250
24-29 months
183,000
30-35 months
228,750
36 months or more
274,500
Source: Japan Pension Service

Can this go into social security?

(From the GIH p. 161 PDF p. 80)
As of January 2014, countries with social security agreements with Japan are: Germany, the UK, South Korea, the US, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, Switzerland, and Hungary. However, the agreements with the UK and South Korea do not have pension enrollment measures in place that would allow you to count your enrollment period in Japan toward your home country's pension system. Italy and India have signed agreements, but they are not yet being implemented. Italy and India have signed agreements, but they are not yet being implemented.
Read more on the Japan Pension Service page (in English).
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4. Mail notice of refund to your tax agent in Japan

Once you've received your refund, send the original copy of the "Notice on Payment of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (Entitlement)" (脱退一時金支給決定通知書 dattai ichijikin shikyuu kettei tsuuchisho) to your tax agent.
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5. Tax agent files for tax refund

Your tax agent should go to the same tax office as in Step 1 (the tax office with jurisdiction over where you last lived before departure from Japan) and file an Income Tax Return (確定申告書 kakutei shinkokusho) on your behalf. This refund can only be sent to a Japanese bank account, so have the refund deposited into your tax agent's bank account.
According to the AJET website, this is the Tax Return form.
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6. Tax agent receives tax refund


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7. Tax agent transfers money to you


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Sources, references, and other guides

Japan Pension Service Official Guide and application in English and Japanese
Japan Pension Service page on Social Security agreements with other countries
Pension Refund application form (on page 11)


National Tax Agency Declaration of Tax Representative English


National Tax Agency Declaration of Tax Representative Japanese, Japanese site PDF


General Information Handbook p. 157-165 PDF p. 78-82
JET Pension Guide PDF

http://www.nenkin.go.jp/n/open_imgs/service/0000005247.pdf