Japan Pension Service: starting April 2010, pay up by end of next month!

Did anyone who gets the kokumin nenkin (national pension) coupons notice this too?

Previously, the pension program allowed you just over two years to make a pension payment (so April 2009’s payment is due at the latest in June 2011.)

However, the new book that I received late last week shows a final payment date, for the most part, at the end of the next month! It looks like someone has closed the two-year gap! With the irony that the 2009 payments are now due, at the latest, later than the 2010 ones! Oh no!

As I have been saying, I strongly feel that Japan is going to be focusing much more intensely on its pension system and pension funding. A few weeks ago, I blogged a bit about how Labor and Health Minister Nagatuma Akira will be delivering a reform plan sometime at the end of May.

And now–unless I’ve gotten a strange batch of coupons–it looks like the pieces are being put in place to more tightly enforce the nenkin program.

I’ve been telling you to treat the pension payment as a tax, even though the tax authorities don’t collect it. And I’m hearing anecdotally that foreign residents here (non Japanese) are being asked their enrollment, which means that somebody is taking notes.

My word search count on “japanese pension” coincidentally started ticking up around the beginning of the month, and so I can imagine that reading internet tea leaves would tell you that an overall enforcement program has begun.

If I find a Japanese source, or sources, I will try to get a link going. I think this is a nationwide change.

[Update: No such enforcement. False alarm!]