For all you JETs who are returning home, the words “pension refund” may conjure images of bewilderment and complexity. However, with a little research on your part, the process can be clear and not terribly painful. Besides this article, there is more information on the JET Programme website regarding pension, in the After JET Guide Okinawa Supplement, and on the Japan Pension Service website.
- Submit your Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments within two years of leaving Japan
- Not in possession of Japanese citizenship
- Paid Employees’ Pension Insurance premium for six months or more
- No place of residence in Japan (submitted a moving-out notification before leaving Japan)
- Never qualified for pension benefits (including Disability Allowance)
|BEFORE LEAVING JAPAN|
1. Designate a Tax Representative
- Go to your local tax office (see list of Okinawa offices below) and get the Tax Representative Designation Form (Nozei Kanrinin no Todokesho / 納税管理人の届け書) or download a copy from the National Tax Agency website. (You can find a translation of the Tax Representative Designation Form here)
- Find someone to be your tax representative. This does not need to be your supervisor. You can ask a fellow teacher, friend or even another JET who will still be in Japan. The tax representative must be a resident of Japan, but does not have to be Japanese. Note that your tax representative will probably need to take nenkyu to visit the tax office on your behalf so please choose wisely and be appreciative.
- Fill out the Form with your tax representative and turn it in. The tax offices ask that you fill out 2 copies of the form: one to turn in, then another for your tax representative to keep.
- Local Tax Offices in Okinawa: For pictures and maps in Japanese please see the website for the Japanese National Tax Agency (Japanese Only)
Naha Tax Office (那覇税務署)
Covers: Parts of Naha (Akamine, Izumisaki, Oroku, Kumoji, Matsuyama), Itoman, Tomigusuku, Nanjo, Yonabaru, Haebaru, Yaese
9 Asahimachi, Naha (across from Naha Bus Terminal)
Kita-Naha Tax Office (北那覇税務署)
Covers: Part of Naha (Shuri, Omoromachi, Mekaru, Naminoue, Hantagawa, Makabi, Mihara, Furujima) Urasoe, Nishihara, Kume-jima, Tokashiki, Zamami, Aguni, Tonaki, Minami Daito, Kita Daito
5-6-12 Miyagi Urasoe City (near Urasoe Tsutaya)
Outer Islanders: call ahead of time and see if forms can be sent by post.
Okinawa City Tax Office (沖縄市税務署)
Covers: Okinawa City, Ginowan, Uruma, Nakagami (Nakagusuku, Kitanakagusuku, Kadena, Chatan, Yomitan)
2-1-1 Higashi, Okinawa City (next to Town Plaza, Misato)
Nago Tax Office (名護税務署)
Covers: Nago, Kunigami, Ogimi, Higashi, Nakijin, Motobu, Onna, Ginoza, Kin, Ie-jima, Iheya, Izena
4-10-1 Agarie Nago City (across from Nago Post Office)
Miyako Tax Office (宮古島税務署)
Covers: Miyako-jima, Tarama
807-7 HiraraHigasinakasone Miyakojima City (next to Kenristu Miyako Hospital)
Ishigaki Tax Office (石垣税務署)
Covers: Ishigaki-shi, Yaeyama (Taketomi, Yonaguni)
8 Tonoshiro Ishigaki City Okinawa
2a. Fill out the Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Form
- Download (or print out before you leave) a copy of the Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Form from the Japan Pension Service website. In section 4, you are able to designate your home bank account (non-Japanese account) to receive your pension refund. Your tax refund on your pension however must be deposited into a Japanese bank account (does not need to be your own).
|AFTER LEAVING JAPAN|
2b. Mail the Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Form
- Mail your completed Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Form to the Japanese Social Insurance Agency.
- Necessary Documents:
- Pension Book (blue book)
- Copy of your passport showing your Status of Residence, date of your final departure from Japan, and page showing your name, date of birth, nationality and signature
- Bank Document verifying your bank’s name, branch office name, branch address, bank account number, and full name of the account holder (must be your name)
- Japanese Social Insurance Agency Address
- Japan Pension Service
- 3-5-24 Takaido-nishi
- Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168-8505
3. Receive Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Confirmation Notice
- After you receive the first 80% of the refund, a Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Confirmation Notice (Dattai Ichijikin Shikyu Kettei Tsuchisho) will arrive at your address in your home country.
4. Mail Confirmation Notice to Tax Representative
- Send the original Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payment Confirmation Notice to your Tax Representative (keep a copy for your records)
5. Tax Representative Files for a Tax Return
- Have your Tax Representative go to the same Tax Office you went to before departing Japan and file for a tax return (kakutei shinkokushou)
6. Tax Representative Receives Pension Tax Refund
- The refund will be deposited into your account or Tax Representative’s bank account in Japan.
7. Tax Representative Sends Pension Tax Refund to You
- Have your Tax Representative transfer the amount to you either through the post office, Golloyd’s, or whichever remittance method you prefer.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Q: How much is my Pension Refund?
A: The amount refunded is calculated based on a person’s remuneration, rate period and period of coverage. Because it based on your average gross monthly salary it will differ from person to person. To calculate your amount please refer to the Japan Pension Service website.
The formula to calculate your amount is: Payment Amount = Your Average Standard Monthly Remuneration (ASR) x Your Multiplier
Q: I forgot to designate a Tax Representative before I left Japan, can I still designate one?
A: Yes. You can file it when making your claim for a tax refund. You do not need to be there to submit the Tax Representative Designation Form. You can fill in the form and submit it to your Tax Representative in Okinawa, have them fill in the needed portions and have them turn it in when they file for your tax refund.
Q: I noticed the Japan Pension Service site only list refund amounts for up to 36 months of enrollment. Does the amount continue to increase beyond 36 months?
A: No, you can only have up to 36 months worth of pension payments refunded. This is not a JET Programme rule, but their regulation.
Q: How much percent of my Pension Refund is taxed?
Q: I’m staying in Japan after JET, can I file for my refund from Japan?
A: No, you cannot. You are only eligible for the refund after you have submitted your Moving-Out Notification and have returned your Resident Card.