All foreigners who pay into the Japanese pension system but then leave the country are eligible for a partial refund (i.e. “Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment”). Please follow these steps to receive this money.
When your pension is refunded, 20% of it is held by the Japanese government as tax. However, you are also eligible to get this 20% back. The process described below is for both the pension and tax refund.
Before Leaving Japan
- Fill out a claim form for the lump sum withdrawal payments and bring it with you to your home country.
- Officially designate a friend or co-worker in Japan to be your tax representative, by filling out a Declaration Naming a Person to Administer the Taxpayer’s Tax Affairs (所得税・消費税の納税管理人の届出書) and submit it to your local tax office.
- You must complete a “moving-notification” at your local city/town office. If not, you won’t be able to claim your pension for a whole year. Failing to do so could also render you being liable to pay taxes.
- Remember to turn in your residence card at the airport!
What to Bring Home
- Pension book and the claim form (can also be downloaded online)
- Contact info for your designated tax representative, school/office, and Contracting Organization (CO)
When you Get Home
- Mail your claim form for the lump sum withdrawal payment to:
Social Insurance Operation Center
Takaido-nishi 3-5-24, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505
(〒168-8505東京都杉並区高井戸西 3丁目 5番 24号社会保険業務センター)
- Along with the claim form, you should include:
- Pension book
- Copy of Passport (showing DOB, country, signature, visa and date of departure from Japan)
- A certified bank stamp OR all pertinent bank information for your HOME COUNTRY BANK
- Wait until you receive a Notice of Lump Sum Withdrawal Payments (支給決定通知書) as a receipt for your money. Make a copy of this form for your records. At this point you will have received your refund in your home country’s bank account. The next steps are for getting the last 20% that was withheld as tax.
- Mail the ORIGINAL Notice of Lump Sum withdrawal Payments to your Tax representative and have them fill out a tax return (確定申告書)for you .
- Note: The tax return form changes every year so there is no use in uploading one as it will likely be outdated.
- Instruct them to have your remaining 20% deposited into their account (it must be deposited into a Japanese bank account).
- Have your Tax Rep deposit the money in your account (Money Order, Go Lloyds, etc.)
- Express deep and profound gratitude to your tax rep for helping you with this arduous process.
This is a small book that you should receive shortly after arriving in Japan. It should be blue, and the front has written the four kanji 年金手帳 (nenkin techou). When you apply for your pension refund, you need to send it with your application. If your school or Contracting Organization is holding onto this for you, be sure to get it from them before leaving Japan.
Lost Pension Book
Under no circumstances can you get your pension refunded without this little blue book. If you misplace your pension book, you can apply to any regional office of the Social Insurance Agency (社会保険事務所) and get a replacement one.