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Social Security Agreements

As a rule, when people work abroad, the pension system of the host country is applied to them. However, as has often been noted, this entails a number of problems such as,

  1. The individual concerned is burdened by having to pay premiums twice: once in Japan and once in the host country.
  2. Because the individual will not be able to receive pensions if he/she cannot complete the required eligibility period, the premiums paid will not have the desired result.

To overcome these problems countries have decided to enter into social security agreements that have helped avoid double enrollment in the pension systems of two countries.

Status of the Various Social Security Agreements
(As of January 2014)
Counterpart country Status Objects of agreement Aggregation of enrollment periods for pension
Exemption from joining the Japanese system Exemption form joining the counterpart country’s system
Germany Enforced in February 2000 Pension Pension Yes
Britain Enforced in February 2001 Pension Pension No
South Korea Enforced in April 2005 Pension Pension No
USA Enforced in October 2005 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical Insur. Yes
Belgium Enforced in January 2007 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical, Workman's Comp, Employment Insur. Yes
France Enforced in June 2007 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical, Workman’s Comp Insur. Yes
Canada Enforced on March 2008 Pension Pension Yes
Australia Enforced on January 2009 Pension Pension (Retirement Pension Security System) Yes
Holland Enforced on March 2009 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical, Employment Insur. Yes
Czech Republic Enforced on June 2009 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical Insur. Yes
Spain Enforced on December 2010 Pension Pension Yes
Ireland Enforced on December 2010 Pension Pension Yes
Brasil Enforced on March 2012 Pension Pension Yes
Switzerland Enforced on March 2012 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical Insur. Yes
Hungary Enforced on January 2014 Pension, Medical Insur. Pension, Medical Insur.,Employment Insur. Yes
Italy In preparation for enforcement Pension Employment Insur. Pension, Employment Insur. No
India In preparation for enforcement Pension Pension Yes

Note 1:Following the negotiations and agreements with these countries, the Japanese government is planning to start negotiations towards a Social Security Agreement with other countries as well.
Note 2:For details, please refer to the homepage of Japan Pension Service.
(Link: http://www.nenkin.go.jp/agreement/index.html)

Major Topics of Agreements

Application

An individual enrolled in the pension system of one of the countries with which Japan has signed the Social Security Agreement who is staying temporarily (as rule, a period not exceeding five years) in one of those countries, or an individual enrolled in the pension system of one of those countries who is staying temporarily in Japan, will be exempted from joining the pension system, medical insurance system, etc. of the host country, and will be able to continue his/her enrollment in the pension system, medical insurance system, etc. in his/her country of origin.
* What systems an individual is exempted from joining depends on the country.

Benefits

According to the Social Security Agreement and added enrollment period (except with the United Kingdom , South Korea and Italy. A country with which Japan has this agreement is hereinafter referred to as "the other country."), if the enrollment period of an individual in his/her country of origin is insufficient to qualify him/her for pension benefits, his or her enrollment period in the pension system of the other country will be added to the total. Furthermore, with regard to the requirement that to qualify for Disability Mutual Aid Pension and the Survivor’s Mutual Aid Pension (awarded on Short-Term related conditions) the “first date of diagnosis” or the “date of death” respectively must fall within a period during which the individual concerned was enrolled in the Private School Mutual Aid System, he or she is regarded as a valid member of the Private School Association on the “first date of diagnosis” and on the “date of death” falling within a period when the individual was enrolled in the other country's pension system.

(1) Special exceptions regarding the qualification as a recipient

  1. Addition of the enrollment period
    If the Japanese enrollment period of an individual who also has a period of enrollment in the other county's pension system is not long enough to qualify for Retirement Mutual Aid Pension benefits, etc. his/her enrollment period in the other country will also be taken into consideration.
    Moreover, if the enrollment period in the Private School Mutual Aid System alone is not long enough to qualify for the Additional Pension amount awarded in terms of the Retirement Mutual Aid Pension or the Additional Pension for Middle- and Advanced-age Widows accompanying the Survivor’s Mutual Aid Pension, the individual’s period of enrollment in the other country's pension system will also be included. Furthermore, if an individual’s enrollment period in the Japanese public pension system alone is not sufficient to meet the insurance payment requirements for the Survivor's Mutual Aid Pension, Disability Basic Pension, etc. his/her period of enrollment in the other country's pension system will be treated as a premium-paying period of the National Pension Plan.
  2. When requirements for the award of a benefit fall within a period of enrollment in the other country's pension system (except Australia)
    With regard to the requirement that to qualify for a Disability Mutual Aid Pension the “first date of diagnosis” must fall within a period when the individual concerned was enrolled in the Private School Mutual Aid System, he or she is regarded as a valid member of the Private School Association on the “first date of diagnosis” falling within a period when the individual was enrolled in the other country's pension system (limited to the countries recognized in the Social Security Agreement).
    Similarly, when an individual’s “date of death” or “first date of diagnosis” of an illness or injury which causes his/her death within five years from the “first date of diagnosis” falls within a period when the person was enrolled in the other country's pension system, the date will be recognized as satisfying the requirement of eligibility for the Survivor’s Mutual Aid Pension (based on the Short-Term Benefit-related condition).
    If an individual is enrolled in more than one pension system in Japan, as a rule, the special exception will apply only to the system in which the individual was enrolled just before his/her day of first diagnosis or the date of death.
    * As for the period in which an individual was enrolled in the other country, the length of period that can be added, or the period that is considered for the individual to be enrolled in the Private School Mutual Aid, depends on each country.
    * When an individual has been enrolled in a pension system of more than two countries including his or her country of origin, the special exception above applies to only one of the systems.

(2) Calculation of the pension amount

  1. Benefits awarded proportional to the length of enrollment period will be calculated on the basis of enrollment in Japan alone, without consideration being given to the period of enrollment in the other country's pension system (e.g. Retirement Mutual Aid Pension, etc.)
  2. In the case of benefits awarded in fixed amounts with a stipulated enrollment period, when the relevant enrollment period falls short of the required length, the reduced amount to be awarded is calculated by multiplying the full fixed amount by the ratio of the total enrollment period to the period of enrollment necessary for the award of benefits (Additional Pension amount of the Retirement Mutual Aid Pension).
  3. Benefits awarded in fixed amounts, or which are based on a specially extended enrollment period, are calculated with a ratio using the period of enrollment in an employees' pension system in Japan and the period of enrollment in the other country's pension, irrespective of the individual’s total enrollment period (Disability Mutual Aid Pension based on an enrollment period of less than 300 months, and Survivor’s Mutual Aid Pension awarded on Short-Term related Conditions). The ratio is calculated differently in each country.
  4. A Retirement Mutual Aid Pension based on an enrollment period in the Private School Mutual Aid System of less than one year, as well as the Disability Mutual Aid Pension and Survivor’s Mutual Aid Pension under this agreement does not include an Occupation-related Portion.