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Length of Enrollment Period Needed to Qualify For Pensions

To become eligible for collecting payments from the Retirement Mutual Aid Pension or the Old-age Basic Pension a member will need to have been enrolled in the plans for a total of 25 years or more, including the periods he/she has paid premiums, periods he/she was exempted from paying, and optional periods he/she chose not to participate.

premium-paying period + premium exemption period + non-participating optional period = 25 years or more

As a result of the law established in August 2012 and planned to enforce in October 2015, the requisite total period of membership to receive the Retirement Mutual Aid Pension will be reduced from 25 years to 10 years.

Premium-paying period

The following are considered premium-paying periods:

  • Periods when the National Pension premiums were payable.
    The period from April 1961 to March 1986 and the period from April 1986 onward 1986 during which the applicant was enrolled as a First Insured or Third Insured Person.
  • Periods of enrollment in Employees’ Pension Plan, Private School Mutual Aid System, or other mutual aid systems.

Premium exemption period

Periods when the individual was exempted from paying National Pension Plan premiums (in the case of the Old-age Basic Pension payments, total exemption is calculated as one third and half exemption as two thirds).

To offset the effect of the decision to gradually raise the National Pension premiums annually starting from 2005, and to ease the burden on insured people, the multiple-level exemption system was introduced in July 2006.. In addition to the total and half exemption possibilities, Insured Persons will be able to take advantage of one quarter and three-quarter exemptions to be granted in accordance with their income level.

Non-participating optional periods(Karakikan)

The following periods will not be reflected in pension calculations, but will be counted towards the insured’s eligibility period.

  1. A period between April 1961 and March 1986, during which an individual such as the spouse of a salaried employee, a person collecting disability pensions or his/her spouse, a person collecting survivor’s pension, etc., was eligible for voluntary participation in the National Pension Plan but chose not to participate.
  2. A period prior to March 1991 during which an individual 20 years or older and still a student had been eligible for voluntary participation but had chosen not to participate in the National Pension Plan.
  3. A period from April 1961 onward during which an individual between the ages of 20 and 60 was living abroad.
  4. In the case of an individual who obtains Japanese nationality or permission for permanent residence before the age of 65, a period between April 1961 and December 31, 1981 when he/she had been between the ages of 20 and 60 years and had been residing in Japan.
  5. The period which those who belong to 4 had lived overseas, and the period when they were aged 20 to 59 between April 1961 until a day before they obtained a Japanese citizenship or the day they obtained permanent residency.
  6. A period from April 1961 onward during which an individual was receiving withdrawal allowance from the Employees’ Pension Plan.

Special exception for a reduced eligibility period

Based on a special exception, the 25-year eligibility period will be reduced to anywhere from 24 to 15 years, depending on the individual’s birthday and other conditions.

  1. Correlation between the required total time of enrollment in the Employees EPension Plan, any other Mutual Aid System, or the Private School Mutual Aid System and the date of birth in the case of individuals born before April 1,1956.
    Date of birth Period
    Before April 1, 1952 20 years
    April 2, 1952 to April 1, 1953 21 years
    April 2, 1953 to April 1, 1954 22 years
    April 2, 1954 to April 1, 1955 23 years
    April 2, 1955 to April 1, 1956 24 years
  2. Correlation between the required total time of enrollment in the Employees’ Pension Plan after the age of 40 (35 years for women, miners and sailors) and the date of birth in the case of individuals born before April 1, 1951.
    Date of birth Period
    Before April 1, 1947 15 years
    April 2, 1947 to April 1, 1948 16 years
    April 2, 1948 to April 1, 1949 17 years
    April 2, 1949 to April 1, 1950 18 years
    April 2, 1950 to April 1, 1951 19 years