Before a crossroad in life, check if you have Pension Handbook


Year 2018 has started and January has almost gone. For expected graduates who are starting their jobs in coming April, now may the busiest time in their lives to get ready to start a new stage of life. Some of those students may have had a notice from their employer to get all documents ready, including their Pension Handbook. Other than getting a job, you sometimes are requested to present your Pension Handbook during your stay in Japan at occasions like changing jobs or getting married. But do you remember where you keep your Pension Handbook? Some of you may not be able to recall where it is kept, or even say you have never had one. In fact, there are quite a few people who have not received a Pension Handbook. So, this column will explain what to do when you don’t have a Pension Handbook when it is required.


How to have Pension Handbook for the first time

It is quite commonly known among mid-to-long term residents that they are required to file a request for resident registry within 14 days from your arrival in Japan. Then, many of them seem to misunderstand about National Pension System that a request to enroll National Pension System is automatically done once they submit a moving-in-notice. But this is wrong. You must separately apply to enroll National Pension System after residence registration. If you are under 20 years of age at the time of your arrival in Japan, you will receive a “report of insured person for National Pension” about a month before your 20th birthday. You need to bring the report to a municipal office or the nearest JPS office to apply for National Pension System. If you are 20 years of age or older when you arrive in Japan, you need to apply for National Pension System after submitting a moving-in-notice at a municipal office. After you complete the application, your Pension Handbook will be sent to your registered address by mail.


Major cause of loss of Pension Handbook

①You lost Pension Handbook

As a general rule, you use the same Pension Handbook for life and you must keep it for yourself. You don’t need to renew Pension Handbook at all. You hardly use your Pension Handbook unless someone request you to present it to confirm your pension number, therefore it is quite common that people lose their Pension Handbook during moving house or simply by forgetting whereabouts of it.

②You have not enrolled in National Pension System

As mentioned earlier, National Pension System requires separate application from resident registry, though, many people misunderstand that they have enrolled in pension system just by notifying the municipal office of their address. Unlike resident registry which affects accuracy of information on your residence card, whether you have enroll in National Pension System hardly affects your everyday life. it is easy to overlook to enrolling in National Pension System.


Apply for reissue if you lost Pension Handbook

If you notice you have lost your Pension Handbook, apply for reissue as soon as possible. Where to visit to make an application differs depending on the pension system you have enrolled in. If you are a Category Ⅰ insured person, submit an application form at your local municipal office or JPS office. An application also can be made online or by mail.

※You need to provide your Basic Pension Number when applying for reissuance of Pension Handbook. Your Basic Pension Number is printed on regular notices from Japan Pension Service, payment slip or receipt of monthly pension contribution other than Pension Handbook. Or, you can bring your photo ID to the nearest JPS office to inquire your Basic Pension Number. Also, apply for reissue of Pension Handbook if you need it reissued on the same day.


Enroll immediately if you haven’t 

If you haven’t enroll National Pension System even though you ought to do so, visit your local municipal office to enroll. It is quite common that you realize that you have overlooked enrolling in National Pension System when you are required to provide your Pension Handbook by your new employer. You need to bring the following documents when enrolling in National Pension System.

  • Application form (available at a municipal office)
  • Photo ID
  • Passport with a proof of the day of landing

What happens to unpaid contributions? 

If your enrollment in National Pension System delays, your contribution obligation become effective retroactively from the date you should have enrolled in the pension system. Accordingly, you may have to pay the total sum of unpaid contribution in the past. However, if unpaid period is the same as the period you were studying at an educational institution, you may be eligible for the Special Payment System for Students for up to 2 years before the enrollment date. If you have a difficulty to clear all the unpaid amount, see municipal office staff to discuss your financial situation and ask if contribution payment exemption is available.


Got everything ready?

Regardless of your nationality, you must enroll in National Pension System. But it is quite common that people realize they have lost Pension Handbook or even haven’t enroll in the pension system at all when they are requested to present it. If you have enrolled in the pension system and just lost your handbook, it can be immediately reissued at JPS office. If you overlooked to enroll, on the other hand, it takes for a while until you get Pension Handbook as you have to make an application at your local municipal office. It is important to make sure you have your Pension Handbook and where it is kept.


Related Article:
The National Pension System: Participation is mandatory for all registered residents
Studying in Japan for over a year? Apply for Special Payment System for Students
Attention, short term students: contribution postponement system of NPS
So you lost your job, apply for special exemption of NPS
Accessing pension earlier: Lump-sum withdrawal payments of the EPI system
Returning home? The Lump-sum withdrawal payments of the NP system
National Pension: Procedures to update residential address when moving house
No more dual pension contribution: International Social Security Agreement and Certificate of Coverage
Changing jobs? You may have to switch pension systems
What would happen if a foreign national resident neglect to pay pension contributions?





あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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