Pension Refund

Please refer to the Pension Refund Section of your General Information Handbook for more information about getting your pension refund. In short, the steps to get a pension refund are:

1. Download the application form from The Japan Pension Service website.

2. Designate somebody to be your tax representative (using the Declaration Naming a Person to Administer the Taxpayer’s Affairs form) and inform your local tax office. Also give your designated tax representative this form, the Declaration of Cancellation of Tax Representative form to use later after transferring the pension refund to your foreign bank account.

3. Go home.

4. Send documentation to the Japan Pension Service (NOT to your school or BOE!).

5. Payment (-20% tax) is deposited in an account in your home country, which you will specify when you’re applying for the pension refund.

6. Send the ORIGINAL proof of the payment to the aforementioned tax representative, who then needs to file for the tax refund on your behalf. Be sure to make a copy first for your records.

7. Refund is deposited into tax representative’s account in Japan.

8. Tax representative sends tax refund to you.

This is where the ¥40,000 (exact amount varies according to nationality) that gets taken out of every paycheck goes. Most of it goes to a pension and social welfare insurance fund. Most of it is refundable for foreigners. The Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (Dattai Ichijikin脱退一時金) is calculated as follows (multiply Rate by 1 month’s pay):

Months on JET Rate Months on JET Rate
6– less than 12 0.4 24 – less than 30 1.7
12 – less than 18 0.8    30 – less than 36 2.1
18– less than 24 1.3 36+ months 2.5

Unfortunately, you cannot choose to pay an extra month of pension just to bump yourself up a rate bracket.

Additionally, if you stay more than 3 years, please keep in mind when calculating your refund after you leave that although you continued to pay into the pension refund past 3 years, only 3 years’ worth will be reimbursed to you.

Before leaving Japan, you need to have the Application for Lump-sum Withdrawal (Dattai Ichijikin Saitei Seikyu-sho 脱退一時金裁定請求書). This form plus your Pension Book (Nenkin Techo 年金手帳) are essential. The Pension Book is issued by the Japan Pension Service (formerly known as the Social Insurance Agency of Japan) (Shakai Hoken Cho 社会保険庁). You apply for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment after you leave Japan. You cannot receive it if you still reside in Japan. Your application must be made within two years of leaving Japan and you need to attach the following to it:

  1. Pension Book
  2. Photocopy of passport showing name, DOB, nationality, signature, date of departure from Japan
  3. Document verifying your bank, name of branch office, address of your branch, and the bank account number of a bank in your home country.
  4. Application for Lump-sum Withdrawal

For more detailed instructions and explanations on how to fill out the forms, please consult the Pension Refund Procedures document.

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