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News Foreign residents to automatically enrol in Japan's national pension system


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Japan is enhancing efforts to include all newly arrived foreigners in the public pension program by October. The goal is to strengthen requirements and establish a foundation for long-term social stability. With over 3 million foreign nationals residing in Japan and numbers expected to increase, enrolling in the pension program will provide economic security for their old age. Currently, individuals aged 20 to 59 living in Japan, regardless of nationality, must participate in the national pension system. Although foreign nationals receive enrollment information when registering their address at local government offices, some fail to enrol. Expatriate workers are also obligated to join the public pension system. However, for countries with social security agreements (such as the U.S., China, and South Korea), foreigners working in Japan for five years or less are exempted while contributing to their home countries' pension systems.

According to a 2019 survey, 4.4% of foreigners living in Japan who are not enrolled are far higher than the 0.1% of Japanese people in the same age group. That 4.4% is thought to include international students, self-employed people, and technical intern trainees whose places of work do not enrol them in the employee's pension system. This factor affects their enrollment in the national system and how much they contribute to it. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will revise the Japan Pension Service's systems and obtain data from a nationwide resident register to access information on new immigrants to Japan. Those whose pension eligibility cannot be confirmed will be asked to enrol in the system. If there is no response, the Pension Service will enrol them automatically.

Those not signed up will not be able to receive benefits once they turn 65, and those who become disabled will not be able to receive disability payments. Japan's population of foreign nationals is climbing. According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the number is expected to hit 4.2 million people in 2030 and jump to 7.29 million in 2050.

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