Japan Pension Service is now at your service

Readers know that I am one of the few Japan-side bloggers who has been following the pension reform issue here in Japan.

It looks like the Social Insurance Agency, the former unit of government responsible for overseeing the pension system, was eliminated after all. And in its place, is the new Japan Pension Service.

January 12 was my birthday, but aside from that, it meant that I was among the first of a group of people in Japan to receive a large blue envelope with a report about my Japanese pension. It hit my box earlier this week. Apparently, these are going out to everyone in the month of your birthday.

I don’t know if I got more information for being 45, but the report highlighted everything that has gone on with me and pension system since I arrived here—and properly enrolled!— in 2005. There is not one mistake in the report. (Even though, I do question how the rule was applied to a company I worked in that had more than 5 employees . . . )

As I was saying late last year, it seems like all the real work of Japan was dumped on the Labor and Health Minister, Nagatsuma Akira. (Probably as kouhai of the ministers, just turning 50 this year.)

Nagatsuma’s nickname is “Mister Nenkin“, which translates as Mister Pension. He was one of the first to bring to prominence the whole mess that the Japanese system had become by the 2000’s.

It’s reassuring to see competence in the Democratic Party of Japan, and very real person willing to make the efforts to take what’s broken and fix it.