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Required participation period to receive pension benefits

The minimum required participation period to receive Old-age Basic Pension or Old-age Employees’ Pension (Pension-benefit Qualified Period) is 10 years combining the periods during which the premiums were paid (premium-paid periods), periods during which the premiums were exempted (premium-exempted periods) and non-participating optional periods (Karakikan).

Notification concerning changes in dependent spouses
Note:
The required period for pension benefit eligibility will be shortened due to legal changes effective from August 2017.

Periods during which the premiums were paid (= premium-paid periods)

“Premium-paid periods” are as follows:

  1. Periods during which the National Pension premiums were paid.
    Periods of being a Category I or III Insured Person in the National Pension from April 1961 to March 1986 and after April 1986.
  2. Periods of being an insured person in the Employees’ Pension Insurance
    For PMAC members, periods of being a Category IV Employees’ Pension Insured Person of the Employees’ Pension Insurance (refer to structure of public pension system).

Periods during which the premiums were exempted (= premium-exempted periods)

Periods during which the premiums for the National Pension were exempted.
Depending on the income level, the exemption of National Pension premiums is determined to be a full exemption, 3/4 exemption, half exemption or 1/4 exemption, which determines the reduction amount of the Old-age Basic Pension.

Non-participating optional periods (Karakikan)

The following periods are not reflected in the calculation of pension benefits but included in the Pension-benefit Qualified Period:

  1. Periods from April 1961 to March 1986 during which a spouse of a salaried employee, person who received Disability Pension , his/her spouse or person who received Survivor’s Pension, etc. but did not participate in the National Pension even though voluntarily participation was available.
  2. Periods up to March 1991 during which a student who was then age 20 or older but did not voluntarily participate in the National Pension.
  3. Periods on and after April 1961 during which a Japanese national who was then age between 20 and 59 lived overseas.
  4. Periods from April 1961 to December 31, 1981 during which a person who was then age between 20 and 59 and had acquired Japanese nationality or permanent residency before age 65 lived in Japan.
  5. For persons who are eligible to Item 4, periods from April 1961 to the day before Japanese nationality acquisition or the day of permanent residency acquisition during which the person who was then age between 20 and 59 lived overseas.
  6. Periods on and after April 1961 during which a person who was then age between 20 and 59 voluntarily participated in the National Pension but did not pay the premiums.

Reduction of Pension-benefit Qualified Period (implemented on August 1, 2017)

Following the law amendment enforced on August 1, 2017, the requirements of Pension-benefit Qualified Period has been reduced from 25 years (Note*) to 10 years.

Category July 2017 or earlier August 2017 and after
The sum of premium-paid periods, premium-exempted periods, and non-participating optional periods is equal to or exceeds 25 years (Note*) Meets the required Pension-benefit Qualified Period
The sum of premium-paid periods, premium-exempted periods, and non-participating optional periods is equal to or exceeds 10 years but is under 25 years (Note*) Does not meet the required Pension-benefit Qualified Period Meets the required Pension-benefit Qualified Period
The sum of premium-paid periods, premium-exempted periods, and non-participating optional periods is under 10 years Does not meet the required Pension-benefit Qualified Period
Note:
Even though the minimum Pension-benefit Qualified Period is 25 years in principle, there is an exception to reduce the length between 15 and 24 years depending on the date of birth.
  1. Persons who were born on April 1 1956 or earlier and were an Employees’ Pension Insurance Insured Person (combining Category I Employees’ Pension Insured Person - Category IV Employees’ Pension Insured Person) must equal or exceed the corresponding period shown in the table below.
    Birthdate Periods
    Before April 1, 1952 20 years
    April 2, 1952 - April 1, 1953 21 years
    April 2, 1953 - April 1, 1954 22 years
    April 2, 1954 - April 1, 1955 23 years
    April 2, 1955 - April 1, 1956 24 years
  2. Periods who were born on April 1, 1951 or earlier and were then age 40 or older (for women, pit workers and mariners, 35 years old) was an Employees’ Pension Insurance Insured Person (limited to Category I Employees’ Pension Insured Person) must equal or exceed the corresponding period shown in the table below.
    Birthdate Periods
    Before April 1, 1947 15 years
    April 2, 1947 - April 1, 1948 16 years
    April 2, 1948 - April 1, 1949 17 years
    April 2, 1949 - April 1, 1950 18 years
    April 2, 1950 - April 1, 1951 19 years