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!]

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3 comments

  1. chuckers · April 6, 2010

    Is this what you are looking for:

    http://www.nenkin.go.jp/main/individual_01/index3.html

    Actually, the old site used to say the same thing:

    http://www.sia.go.jp/seido/nenkin/kokumin/02.html

    Back when I had coupons in 2005 or so, I vaguely recall that you were expected to have the fee paid by the end of the following month if you weren’t doing automatic withdrawals.

    I think the 2 year period was a way to cover those people that got screwed for whatever reason (government screw up, company screw up, personal screw up) to be able to back pay into the system to make up for some of the lost time they might have missed. Can’t seem to find any details on that just yet. The new nenkin site still has links back to the old site.

    • hoofin · April 6, 2010

      I wonder what the Real Rule is then? Because all my Nenkin coupons had the two year advanced date. The 2010 ones, now, don’t. They say pay up by the end of the next month, just like the website.

      I think I still have some of the 2006 batch that I didn’t need to use. I have to figure out what box I stuck them in.

      It’s starting to sound like the two-year rule really meant that the coupon was good to make a payment for up to two years. But that the payment would technically be late after the end of the next month . . .

  2. chuckers · April 6, 2010

    Can’t seem to find the actual rule written on the SIA/Nenkin website but here is an article from January of this year. Nagatsuma want to extend the grace period for paying unpaid portions from 2 years to 10 years. Anything that has been unpaid for more than 2 years will be subject to interest tacked on to it:

    http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0113/TKY201001120505.html

    He is looking to get that implemented by 2011. The longer they drag it out, the more people will end up missing out on their reclamation periods.

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