★Did you know?

Since August 1, 2017, you can receive a Japanese pension after a coverage period of only 10 years, (previously, the period was 25 years).

The following count towards your 10-year coverage period:
(1) periods during which you made monthly pension contributions;
(2) periods of full or partial exemption from contributions (during which you paid the non-exempt contribution part);
(3) “gap periods” (kara kikan).

Q: What is a “gap period” (kara kikan)?
A: So called “gap periods” are periods, during which you did not pay contributions, but that can still count towards the 10-year coverage period.

If you were not a Japanese citizen by birth,and have acquired Japanese citizenship after May 1, 1961, between the ages of 20 and 65, or permanent resident status (eiju kyoka) at any time before the age of 65, the following gap periods count towards your pension coverage period:
● Any time between April 1961 and December 1981, during which you resided in Japan
  as a visa holder and were between the age of 20 and 60;
● Any time from April 1961 onwards, during which you were between the age of 20 and 60,
  residing overseas, and not enrolled in the Japanese pension system;

The following gap periods also count towards your pension coverage period,
regardless of your citizenship or resident status:
● Any time between April 1961 and March 1991 during which you were a student
  between the age of 20 and 60, and did not make pension contributions
  (does not apply to evening and correspondence courses, but to any other study
  specified by the Pension Act);
● Any time between April 1961 and March 1986, during which you were between
  the age of 20 and 60, and you were the spouse of a person enrolled in the Employee’s Pension
  or a Mutual Aid Pension and exempt from making compulsory contributions.

The above periods are called “gap periods” (kara kikan) and count towards the 10-year (120-month) coverage period for the Japanese pension. Note that the gap periods do not increase the amount of money you will receive in your pension benefits. This is calculated based on the contributions you actually made.

Q: What happens to the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment for temporary residents?
A: Temporary residents can receive a Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment if they:
● do not have Japanese citizenship;
● have contributed to the National Pension or Employee’s Pension for at least six months;
● no longer reside in Japan;
● claim the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment within two years of leaving Japan.
If you claim the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment, your pension contribution period resets to zero. Note that the lump sum will be proportionate to your contribution period between six months and three years, but will not increase further, even if you contributed for more than three years. After August 1, 2017, people who have contributed to the Japanese pension system for 10 years or more, can no longer claim the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment. Instead, these people will be eligible to receive an old-age pension when they reach pension age.

For further details, please refer to the information available in English on the Japan Pension Service website, and supplementary provisions to the National Pension Act (in Japanese only):
http://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/pamphletenglish/index.html (Japan Pension Service brochure)
http://elaws.e-gov.go.jp/search/elawsSearch/elaws_search/lsg0500/detail?lawId=334AC0000000141&openerCode=1#830 (Supplementary provisions to the National Pension Act – Japanese only)

②If you are registered as resident in Japan (mid-to-long term resident,special
 permanent resident,etc), you will be notified of your 12-digit Social Security and
 Tax Number (also called Individual Number or "My Number"), beginning October 2015.