If you do not intend to retire in Japan or you have already left Japan, you may be entitled to claim a refund of your pension contributions.
The good news is that you can potentially withdraw the first three years of your Japanese pension plan contributions as a lump sum and have it sent to your bank account! To do that you must have worked there and contributed to the pension fund for over six months.
Now, if you’re thinking that claiming your pension back won’t be worth your while, it’s time to think again!
The average Japanese pension refund is ¥600,000, so it’s well worth checking how much you could be due.
In order to claim a Japanese pension refund, you must not be a Japanese national or permanent resident in Japan.
If you have double citizenship (Japanese and any other country), you also cannot claim your pension contributions back.
It’s important to know that you can only claim back the first three years of your pension contributions. In other words, if an employee worked for 4 years, he/she can only claim a pension refund from the first three years.
A refund of the shakai hoken (nenkin) or the pension contributions can only be requested when you leave Japan, even temporarily. You can claim back the money once you have left the country for at least 6-8 months.
Once you leave Japan, you have a period of two years to claim back your pension fund.
In this guide, we are going to outline 6 tips you need to follow when applying for your Japanese pension refund:
1 - Leaving Japan
When you have your ticket to leave Japan, be sure to file a “Moving out notification” (tenshutsu todoke). This will help your pension refund application to be processed more quickly. What’s more, you will also be able to avoid city taxes from being collected during the time you are away.
2 - Starting the process
As soon as you arrive in your home country (or another country where you are going), start the process immediately. It can take 6-8 months for payment, so don't waste time.
3 – You must be outside of Japan for at least 6-8 months
You should plan to stay for at least 6- 8 months outside of Japan (in your home country or another country), in order to apply to withdraw your pension contributions as this is the average time that it takes for such an application to be processed by the Japanese pension service.
4 – Keep your residence card
You will need your zairyu card or gaijintoroku or at least the copy of the front and backside. It will make the application process faster.
5 - Keep your nenkin booklet (see example below)
This is one of the essential documents to request a refund. If you have not received or lost it, ask your employer for one.
6 - Keep your gensen
Ask for the last gensen (your yearly statement) from your employer as soon as you stop working. It is likely that you also have an income tax to repay.
What is the easiest way to apply for your Japanese pension refund?
You can apply for your Japanese pension refund directly yourself.
But the easiest way to get your pension contributions back is to do it with Taxback.com.
We will deal with all the tricky paperwork, communicate with the Japanese authorities on your behalf and the refund will be paid straight to your bank account.
The average Japanese Pension Refund a Taxback.com customer claims is ¥600,000.
Why choose Taxback.com?
Thousands of people choose our service because:
· You get the maximum refund possible
· Your refund is delivered to any bank account worldwide and in your local currency
· It’s a simple online process with no complicated forms