Our View: New Residency Management System Since July 9, 2012 and its influences on Japan’s pension refunds for foreigners

投稿者: | 2012年7月13日

(このブログ記事には日本語もあります)

This is YouAT.
We’d like to explain our view about this topic.

Since July 9, 2012 a new residency management system for foreigners in Japan (在留管理制度) has started.
Under the new system a foreigner living in Japan legally and not with a temporary stay is:

  1. issued a “Resident Card”. For a permanent resident (PR) a “Special Permanent Resident Certificate” is issued instead of “Resident Card” (Both are called “在留カード[ざいりゅうかーど]” in Japanese, though).
  2. registered in Japanese “Resident Registration (住民登録[じゅうみんとうろく] in Japanese)” and issued a “Certificate of Residents” (住民票[じゅうみんひょう] in Japanese) at a municipal office where he/she lives.

Foreign people who worked in and left Japan can claim to refund their pension contributions they paid in Japan.
It is called “pension’s lump-sum withdrawal payments (年金の脱退一時金)”.
Foreigners can claim Japanese pension refunds on the conditions that

(i) they are not a Japanese citizen,
(ii) they are not a resident in Japan, and
(iii) they have paid Japanese pension contributions more than 6 months.

Foreigners can claim pension refunds within 2 years since (ii) they are not a resident in Japan.

After July 9, 2012, though, they need to nullify their “Resident Registration” in order to satisfy (ii) above and get a qualification to claim their pension refunds.
To do so, they need to apply for “Notification of Moving-out (転出届[てんしゅつとどけ] in Japanese)” to the municipal office where they are registered as a resident.

Therefore, people who wish to claim pension refunds (pension’s lump-sum withdrawal payments) should do the following:

  1. Please apply for “Notification of Moving-out (転出届[てんしゅつとどけ] in Japanese)” to the municipal office where you are registered as a resident.
  2. But if you leave Japan without applying for “Notification”, then you can apply for it to the municipal office from abroad. It can be mailed by yourself, or can be applied for through your designated agent.

So if you wish to claim your pension refund, please don’t forget to apply for “Notification of Moving-out” before leaving Japan, to the municipal office where you are registered.
We will elaborate this topic in our pension refund pages in website too.