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Pension Benefits

For Foreigners

Q1:I am a foreign national living outside Japan. We do not have a family register or resident card in my country. What other types of documentation can I attach to claim the pension?

A1: Generally, we ask you to attach documentation issued from a Municipal Office or other government institution after the day you become eligible to receive the pension. If the person to receive the pension cannot acquire a Japanese family register or resident card due to being a foreign national or a person residing outside Japan, please attach the following type of documentation.

  • If you are a citizen of the country in which you reside:
    “Equivalent documentation issued by a government institution in the country in which you reside”
  • If you are not a citizen of the country in which you reside:
    “Equivalent documentation issued by a government institution in your country of citizenship”

The name of documents may differ from country to country. Please attach documents that verify the below < Matters to be Confirmed >.
Please also submit these documents with a separate Japanese language translation (showing the name of the translator).
Note that we may request additional information after confirming the documents you submitted.

< Matters to be Confirmed >

  • Name, date of birth, address, status on the day of becoming eligible to receive the pension

Q2:I am a foreign national. I currently participate in the National Pension, but I worked at a private school for two years before joining. I have never paid any insurance premiums for the National Pension, and I plan to return to my home country soon.
Can I claim a lump-sum withdrawal payment from PMAC and the National Pension?

A2: The lump-sum withdrawal payment system enables persons who pay Employees’ Pension or National Pension for more than six months to claim a refund for the period insurance premiums were paid, only if the claimant is not eligible to receive the pension. In this case, although National Pension is not calculated for the lump-sum withdrawal payment, you may claim a lump-sum withdrawal payment for the Category IV Employees’ Pension Insured Persons period (the period you were working at the private school).
However, you will be required to be lost of your membership as an insured person under the National Pension (including Category III Insured Persons under the National Pension). Please ensure that you conduct the required membership cancellation procedures when leaving Japan.
Please note that this will be effective for two years after you leave Japan or after you lost as an insured person for the National Pension.
Please click here for more details on the system, procedures and claims.

Q3:I am a foreign national. I am thinking about claiming a lump-sum withdrawal payment as I am not eligible to receive the pension. Due to having already returned to my country, I cannot obtain the certificate of deletion of residence specified in the documents to be attached. Can I still apply for a lump-sum withdrawal payment?

A3: One requirement for receiving the lump-sum withdrawal payment is not having an address in Japan.
Therefore, you need to report your move out to the Municipal Office in the area of your residence before you return to your country.
If the PMAC can confirm that you do not have an address in Japan, you can apply for the lump-sum withdrawal payment without attaching a certificate of deletion of residence. In such case, please ensure that you attach a copy of documentation that shows the name of the person who was registered on the certificate of residence (resident card, etc.) in order to make it easier for PMAC to confirm the situation.
However, if the PMAC is not able to confirm that you do not have an address in Japan, we may return your claims, etc.

Q4: I am a foreign national. I was a member of the PMAC for 5 years. I have left Japan and now live and work at a company in another country.
Can I claim the pension in Japan in the future?

A4:Some countries have executed a social security agreement with Japan in regard to the totalization of the period of participation in the pension.
Subsequently, if you have participated in the pension for a total of 10 years or more by adding the period of participation in the government pension system in Japan and the partner agreement country and you have reached the age to claim pension benefits due to reaching age, you may claim the pension in Japan.
In addition, as the content of the social security agreement may differ from country to country,
please click here for more details regarding partner countries and content of agreements.

Q5: I am a foreign national living in Japan. I am currently a member of PMAC.
Can I claim the pension from the country I had been living before coming to Japan while I am in Japan?

A5:If the country is designated in the social security agreement as a country that totalize the pension membership period, you can claim the pension at PMAC or Japan Pension Service. Please attach the claim form of the country and necessary documents.
If you have reached the age when the pension benefits start, we can send pension claim forms upon your request. However, we ask you to confirm the necessary documents and details of procedures with the relevant government agencies of the partner agreement country or your embassy.
Note that the pension commencement age differs from country to country.

Q6: I am a foreign national. Although I currently live in Japan, I am thinking about returning to my home country soon.
Can I specify a bank outside Japan to receive the pension payment?
Also, what should I do about tax?

A6:You may specify a foreign financial institution to receive the pension payment, but please take note of the following.

  • As payments cannot be directly transferred into a foreign financial institution, it may take some time for the payment to reach your account (in most cases, we are unable to deposit the payment on the Japanese time and date specified by PMAC).
  • You will be responsible for the fees for transferring the pension outside Japan when the pension is transferred (the foreign financial institution will deduct the transfer fees from the payment).
  • In principle, payments will be sent in the local currency. If the payment cannot be sent in local currency, the payment will be sent in USD or Euro. However, you cannot select the currency.

Whether or not tax will be imposed depends on the pension amount and type. If the pension is subject to tax, a rate of 20.42% will be imposed. If the residence and recipient is located at an address or financial institution in a country that has executed a tax agreement, the payment may be transferred without withholding tax after submitting a notification for a tax exemption in Japan.
Note that the content of tax treaties differs from country to country. Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Finance.

Q7:I currently live overseas and receive the pension, but I have not received the current payment. A short while ago I received a “Current Circumstances Notification”. Is this related to me not receiving the payment?

A7:Each year we send a Current Circumstances Notification to people who receive the pension. If you do not return this notification, the transfer of your pension will be suspended. Once we can confirm your circumstances, we will resend the payment. Please submit this notification as soon as possible.
If you have lost the form, you may request another form to be sent or you may write your pension number, name, signature, date of birth and current address on a document headed “Current Circumstances Notification” and send it to PMAC.
If you wish to submit a certificate of residence issued by your embassy in place of a lost “Current Circumstances Notification”, you will be required to submit the original certificate. In addition, if you intend to submit a certificate of residence to the Japan Pension Service or other agency, you will be required to submit the original certificate to each agency.

Q8:I live outside Japan and have changed my address. I have notified the Japan Pension Service, but do I have to notify PMAC as well?

A8:You must also submit a notification to PMAC. As the Japan Pension Service and the other do not share the information of payment recipients and addresses, please notify the change of address at each agency.
You can notify the change by a letter , head the document with the title “Non-Resident Transfer Notification” and include the following.

  • Basic pension number
  • Pension certificate number
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • New address and phone number
  • Transfer date (date of change of address)
  • Signature

About Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment

Q1: I received the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment but the Income Tax was withheld in Japan. Can I get it refund? If I can, how?

A1: Though the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment is a subject of taxation, you can claim for the tax refund to Japanese tax office.
For particular procedures, please inquire National Tax Agency.

Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau : 03-3821-9070
Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau : 06-6941-5331
Nagoya Regional Taxation Bureau : 052-971-2059

National Tax Agency : Information about Income Tax
http://www.nta.go.jp/taxanswer/english/gaikoku301.htm

Q2: We have a foreign teacher at our school. After being a member of the PMAC system for 2 years, the teacher is going back to America. Can this person make a request to receive pension benefits?

A2: In order to receive pension benefits, the member must have participated for the prescribed period that qualifies for eligibility to receive benefits. With the United States of America, the Social Security Agreement allows the person to include the pension membership period in the U.S. Therefore, if the person does not qualify only with the membership period in Japan, he/she can add the membership period in the U.S. If the member does not qualify for the eligibility to receive pension benefits even when adding the membership period in the U.S, the person can make a request for a Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment for foreigners.

About Pension

Q3: I was born in October 1955 and I am a PMAC member. A pension benefit request form was delivered to my school in July. I would like to know why it was sent to me 3 months before my birthday. I have heard that while I am receiving a salary, no pension benefits are paid. Do I still have to submit the request form?

A3: Information regarding a request for pension benefits is sent to your school 3 months before you reach the age when Special Payment of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits starts. Since pension benefits are decided upon a request for benefit payment from the person who meets the recipient requirements and based on the records of pension membership periods, etc., the information is sent with an adequate preparation period for you to fill out the request form upon confirming your pension membership records. The right to receive pension benefits expires by prescription after 5 years in principle. For Old-age Employees' Pension benefits, this prescription is temporarily halted while benefit payment is fully suspended because the person is employed. However, to avoid any lost benefits incurred by a belated request, follow the benefit request procedures as soon as you become qualified to receive your benefits.

Q4: How should I request to receive early payment of my pension benefits starting from 60 years of age?

A4: When you request early payment for Old-age Employees' Pension benefits provided for the Category IV Employees' Pension Insured period (period when you are a member of PMAC), the request applies to both the Old-age Basic Pension provided by National Pension and Old-age Employees' Pension provided by other organizations. Since the procedures to request early payment can be done through the One-Stop Service, you may request early payment from only one system being either PMAC or the Japan Pension Service. However, when you request early payment for Old-age Basic Pension provided by National Pension after reaching the payment starting age for Old-age Employees' Pension benefits, please submit the request to the Japan Pension Service (since One-Stop Service cannot be used). When early payment is requested, the amount of pension benefits you will receive every month for the rest of your life is reduced by 0.5% multiplied by the number of months that the early payment is received.

Q5: I am a 60 year old woman who was born in June 1957. I was employed by a company in the past. I received a pension benefit request form from the Pension Service. Do I have to request payment of pension benefits provided by PMAC?

A5: There is no difference by gender for the payment starting age of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits for Category IV Employees' Pension Insured period (period when you are a member of a private school). Meanwhile, the payment starting age of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits for Category I Employees' Pension Insured period (period when you were employed by a private company) is different depends on gender. Because the schedue of the raising of the benefits payment starting age for woman is 5 years behind. Therefore assuming that you meet the recipient requirements other than the age requirement, for women who were born before April 1, 1966, the benefits payment starting age is different between Category IV Employees' Pension and Category I Employees' Pension. You must request payment of Category I Employees' Pension Benefits from the age of 60. When you become 63 years old, a payment request form for Category IV Old-age Employees' Pension benefits will be sent to you from PMAC. When you receive the form, please follow the procedures described in the notification.

Q6: I am currently employed and special payment of my Old-age Employees' Pension has been determined. This year, I will become 65 years old. Is there any change in the amount of Pension benefits I will receive? I was a member of PMAC for 22 years and I have a 62 year old spouse.

A6: When you become 65 years old, you are asked to request regular payment of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits. Before your 65th birthday, "Old-age Employees' Pension (regular payment) Benefit Decision request form/Deferred Payment request form" are sent to your registered address. If there was a period when you were a PMAC insured person after the decision for special payment has been made, your pension benefit amount may change because the period insured up to the age of 65 is included in the pension benefit calculation. If you shares living costs with your wife(and whose income is less than 8.5 million yen), an additional pension amount is provided if you request it. Since the period with PMAC is longer than 20 years, the "Form for Submitting Qualification to Receive Additional Pension" is included in "Old-age Employees' Pension (regular payment) Benefit Decision request form/Deferred Payment request form."

Q7: I have heard that I can defer regular payment of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits. I would like to know the details of this system. Are there cases where deferred payment cannot be applied?

A7: With the deferred payment system, by deferring the regular payment of Old-age Employees' Pension benefits for 1 year or longer (postponing the time to begin receiving payments), you can receive the additional amount of 0.7% per month of the amount* based on the number of months that payment is postponed. However, when requesting deferred payment, you need to align the payment starting time of all pension services, except for Old-age Basic Pension, to be the same. You cannot defer payment from one service while starting to receive payment from another service when you become eligible. Deferred payment is not applicable to those who are eligible to receive Survivors' Pension or Disability Pension (except for Disability Basic Pension).
*The total amount that you are supposed to receive from the time you become eligible for regular payment (it does not include the additional amount). If you are employed, the total amount that you are supposed to receive from the time the payment is suspended.

Q8: I would like to make a request to receive Disability Pension benefits. Are there any requirements when making the request to PMAC? Are Disability Pension benefits provided even if I am employed?

A8: You may receive Disability Employees' Pension, when you are recognized as disabled (Disability Grade 1-3) on the date of recognition of disability (1 year and 6 months after the first medical examination or the date when the symptoms have been stabilized), due to sickness or an injury for which the first medical examination was during a period when you are a member of PMAC. If the condition of disability did not qualify for a disability grade on the disability approval date subsequently worsened before reaching the age of 65 and reaches a severity level that qualifies for a disability grade, you can also make a request for Disability Pension benefits (Payment Request for ex-post Severity). In either case, you must meet the insurance premiums payment requirements. Disability Employees' Pension benefits are given even when you are employed. However, transitional additions for occupational pension (Disability Mutual Aid Pension) will be suspended.

Q9: A pension benefits member has passed away while the person was employed. How should Survivors' Pension benefits be requested?

A9: When member dies while employed, Survivors' Employees' Pension benefits are paid to spouses, children, parents, grandchildren or
grandparents whose livelihood was supported by the member. If person who is eligible to receive the 1st or 2nd Grade Disability Employees' Pension dies, a person dies from sickness or injury for which the date of the first visit to a doctor was during his/her employment, or a person with 25 years or longer Old-age Pension-benefit Qualified Period dies, survivors Pension will also be paid. If there's someone eligible to receive Survivors' Pension benefits, please contact PMAC. Upon confirming the person's eligibility to receive Survivors' Pension benefits (income and if the person had lived with the deceased or not, etc.), a Survivors' Pension benefit payment request form is sent to you. When making a request for Survivors' Pension benefit payments that may be provided due to a death while employed, please make the request through your educational corporation, etc.

Q10: I retired from work at the age of 67. I received a "Retirement Pension Decision/Revision Request Form" at my home address. I would like to know why my pension benefit amount is very little even though my membership period was long. Do I need to make a request for payment?

A10: "Retirement Pension" is a funded pension system introduced in October 2015, replacing the "Occupation-related Portion" which was abolished due to consolidation. PMAC will send you a request form upon confirming your pension benefit qualifications that may become effective after your retirement. Please make sure to submit the request. The amount of Retirement Pension benefits is calculated based on the accumulated amount since October 2015. If the period during which the fund has accumulated is short, the pension benefit amount will be small.

Q11: I am 61 years old and receiving Disability Employees' Pension benefits. I have heard that I can receive Old-age Employees' Pension benefits provided by PMAC from the age of 62. Can I receive benefits from only one pension system? Can I also receive benefits from Old-age Employees' Pension system?

A11: If you acquire the eligibility to receive two pension benefits that have different qualification criteria, you need to choose one or the other. Payment from the one you did not choose will be suspended. When you make a request for payment from the pension for which eligibility becomes effective later than the other (in this case, Old-age Employees' Pension), select the pension system you would like to receive payment from in the "Pension Benefit Selection Form." You may change the selection of pension benefits to receive later.

Q12: I am currently employed and have received an Old-age Employees' Pension benefit decision. Although the pension benefits are suspended based on the salary amount, etc. while employed, are there any other adjustments made on my benefits?

A12: If you are receiving Old-age Employees' Pension benefits while still employed and become qualified for Continuous Employment Benefits for the Elderly, etc. (Continuous Employment Benefits for the Elderly and Re-employment Benefits for the Elderly) prescribed in the Employment Insurance Act, special payment of Old-age Employees' Pension (up to age 65) is suspended.

Q13: When I was a Category I or III Insured Person in National Pension, I received a pension book. Does PMAC provide a pension book?

A13: PMAC doesn’t provide a pension book but a membership card or membership eligibility certificate can be used. At the time of retirement, a Membership Records of “Pension Benefits” will be issued.