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Pension Refund Info

Page history last edited by KumamotoPA 11 years, 4 months ago

Pension Refund

During your time as a JET you have been paying into Japanese Employees’ Pension Insurance.  However, because you’re not a Japanese citizen you are eligible to claim back a portion of what you put in.  The amount you can claim back is dependent on your period of coverage.  According to the 2010 GIH, leaving JETs who completed 1 year will get (roughly) ¥280,000, 2 years will get ¥560,000, and 3-5 years will get ¥840,000.  To claim a Lump-sum Withdrawal of your Japanese pension payments, please follow these steps outlined for before and after you return to your home country (Please see pgs. 203-209 of the GIH for more detail):  


Before you leave Japan –

  1. Go to http://www.nenkin.go.jp/main/individual_02/pdf/english.pdf and download and print the PDF, called the “Claim Form for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments” (dattai ichijikin seikyuu-sho).
  2. Grab your blue pension book and fill out the claim form (on pages 11-12 of the 14 page application packet you printed out) as much as you can for now.  Part of this form must be completed after you return home.  NOTE: On part 5 of the application, “Claimant’s pension handbook data,” there is space to provide 4 separate pension numbers.  All JETs need only fill in the “Basic Pension number.”  The other 3 fields may be left blank.
  3. Choose a tax representative in Japan to act in your stead.  Roughly 20% of your pension refund will be withheld in Japan as tax.  You are eligible to claim that 20% back, but it must be done from within Japan (i.e. someone in Japan will have to do it for you).  To do this you will need to choose someone you trust that will still be living in Japan for the next year or so.  We strongly recommend you choose someone who can read and speak Japanese.  For most JETs, their tantousha is often a good choice for this.  To do this, go to your local tax office in Japan and get the “Notification of Tax Agent” (nouzeikanrinin no todokedesho) form.  This form must be submitted at the tax office that has jurisdiction over the address at which you lived (the most recent one registered on your alien registration card).  The form can also be downloaded (Japanese only) here: http://www.nta.go.jp/tetsuzuki/shinsei/annai/shinkoku/pdf/07.pdf


After you leave Japan

  1. Complete your Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment claim form and send it, along with the accompanying documents, to Japan.  You’ll need to attach passport photocopies, a certified bank stamp (or acceptable substitutes if certified bank stamp is not available), and your blue pension book to your applications.  The specifications for these attachments are explained in detail on page 12 of the application PDF.  We recommend that you follow them to the letter as any mistakes may result in a delay or non-payment of your Lump-sum Withdrawal.  We also recommend that you send this information via registered mail so that it can be tracked if necessary.

          Use the provided label and send the form to:              Japan Pension Service

                                                                                      Takaido-nishi 3-5-24

                                                                                      Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505



  1. Kick back and relax.  The Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment process can take up to six-months between the time you submit the paperwork and the time the money is deposited into your bank account.  The process can take much longer if your documentation is insufficient or unclear.
  2. After you receive your Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment, file for your income tax refund.  After the money for your pension refund, minus the 20% income tax withheld, is deposited in your bank account in your home country, you will receive a “Notice of Payment of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (Entitlement)” (dattai ichijikin shikyuu kettei tsuuchisho).  Send the original copy of this form to your tax representative in Japan.  Your tax representative will then go to your local tax office and file for a refund of the withheld amount.  The tax refund will be deposited into the bank account of your tax representative.  They will then transfer that refund to your bank account, or send the money to you in some other agreed upon fashion.


Things to keep in mind –

  • You must apply for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment within 2 years of your departure date from Japan. 
  • You may apply for a refund of the tax withheld from your Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment within 5 years of the date you left Japan.
  • All JETs, whether they are exempt from paying Japanese taxes or not, will be subject to the 20% taxation on the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment.
  • All paperwork must be filled out and submitted by the JET and their tax representative.  CLAIR, your PAs or your CO cannot do this for you.
  • Several countries have reciprocal pension agreements with Japan through which you can transfer your Japanese pension payments to your home country’s pension system. Contact your home country’s pension service for more information. Please note that this would disqualify you from receiving the lump-sum withdrawal payment. 

Several countries have reciprocal pension agreements with Japan through which you can transfer your Japanese pension payments to your home country’s pension system. Contact your home country’s pension service for more information. Please note that this would disqualify you from receiving the lump-sum withdrawal payment.



Q. Where do I find the different pension numbers I need for section 5 (Claimant’s pension handbook data) of the pension refund claim form?

A. You only need to enter the “Basic Pension number” in this section.  This number can be found in your blue pension handbook.  It is the number at the top of the page with your name and birthday.


Q. My bank doesn’t have a certified bank stamp.  What should I do?

A. In this case, you will need to submit documentation from the bank verifying the bank name, branch name, branch address, account number and account holder’s name (account holder must be you).


Q. I am filling in the History section on page 2 of the claim form.  Which type of pension was I enrolled in, and what dates should I list for the enrollment period?

A. All JETs are enrolled in (2) Employees’ Pension Insurance.  For enrollment period, list the beginning date of the contract of your first JET year and ending date of the contract of your last JET year.

Note: this may be different for those who worked in Japan before JET.


Q. I noticed the GIH and Social Insurance Agency site only list refund amounts for up to 36 months of enrollment.  Does the amount continue to increase beyond 36 months?

A. No, you can only have up to 36 months worth of pension payments refunded.  This is not a JET Programme rule, but a Social Insurance Agency regulation.


Q. Can I apply for the pension refund from Japan?

A. No, only those who have left Japan (and in doing so cancelled their alien registration by handing over their Alien Registration Card at the airport when departing) may apply.


Q. How much time will it take to get the lump-sum refund?

A. On average, it takes 3-6 months from submission of the claim form.  If information on the claim form is incorrect or insufficient, the process will take longer.


Q. I didn’t designate a tax representative before I left Japan.  Is it possible to do so from my home country?

A. Yes, it is possible.  You do not have to be present when the form is submitted to your local tax office.  Find someone in Japan willing to be your tax representative and, upon filling in the necessary information, send them the tax representative declaration form.  They will then take it to the local tax office where you resided in Japan.


Q. Does the tax representative declaration form need to be submitted to MY local tax office?

A. Yes, it should be submitted to the tax office with jurisdiction over the address where you filed for alien registration.  (Note: tax offices are not always at city/town/village halls.)

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