Get Pension Withdrawal Payments

For Workers from Foreign Countries Leaving Japan
You might be able to get money from Japan Pension Service

If you have worked in Japan for more than 6 months and you or your employer have paid full pension premiums of Japan’s National Pension (“NP”, “国民年金” in Japanese) or Employee’s Pension Insurance (“EPI”, “厚生年金保険” in Japanese) for more than 6 months, it is likely that you can claim “Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payments” from Japan Pension Service if you meet the following requirements and submitted appropriate documents.

The important thing is that you should file the application within 2 years after leaving Japan, or to say it more precisely, after the time when you are no longer a resident of Japan.

Requirements to file the application are as follows (see P3 of the explanation and the application form (“Explanation”) on https://www.nenkin.go.jp/service/jukyu/sonota-kyufu/dattai-ichiji/20150406.files/A.pdf):

  • You are not of Japanese nationality.
  • You or your employer paid full pension premiums of Japan’s National Pension or Employee’s Pension Insurance for more than 6 months. (Or if you were exempt from paying 1/4 [1/2 or 3/4] of the premiums, you need to be covered and paid for more than 8 [12 or 24] months respectively.)
  • You have no address in Japan registered with the municipal office.
  • You have never received Japanese public pension benefits including Disability Allowance.

The necessary documents to submit with the application form are listed on Page 3 of the Explanation. You should submit a copy of your passport, for example.

And the estimate amount of money you may get is listed on Page 8 of the Explanation. For instance, you might be able to get a refund of around \45,000 if you worked for 6 months and paid the full pension premiums for that period.

It should be noted that this also applies to cases where your employer paid the premiums for you. There are some cases where your employer does not hand out your Pension Handbook to you. (See this link for a photo of the Handbook. Basically your Pension Handbook should be in blue.) You should check out if your employer paid the premiums if you are not sure.

You can also file the application and necessary documents before you leave Japan if you meet certain requirements. (see P3 of the Explanation) In this way, you do not have to spend extra money on international mail.

If you have an intention to come back to Japan, you should give special consideration whether to file this application since you will lose the entitlement to the future pension benefit for all the past coverage period which otherwise would be included in the coverage for future pension benefits.

For details, see the Explanation on https://www.nenkin.go.jp/service/jukyu/sonota-kyufu/dattai-ichiji/20150406.files/A.pdf
(Some pages are in Japanese but if you read through, you can find the English pages.)
If you feel comfortable with other languages, the form is also prepared in Chinese,KoreanPortugueseSpanishIndonesianFilipinoThaiVietnameseBurmese,Cambodian.