Pension Refund

According to a law passed in 1994 all foreigners who pay into the Japanese pension system but then leave the country are eligible for a partial refund. Although we are eligible for this refund we must follow the following steps to actually receive this money.

When you get your pension refunded, 20% of it is taken by the Japanese Government as tax. However, you are eligible to get this 20% back as well. The process described below is for both the pension and tax refund.

This page is completely updated as of June 12, 2018

Lump-sum claim form

What you'll need

-Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments form
-Declaration Naming a Person to Administer the Taxpayer's Tax Affairs form
-Pension Book
-Official information for your home bank account
-Proof that you are leaving Japan (passport copies or notice of leaving Japan [updated juminhyou 住民票])

Steps to take before you leave Japan

  1. Fill out an Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments.
  2. Find someone to be your tax representative. This person can be a friend or co-worker.
  3. Officially designate them as your tax representative by filling out a Declaration Naming a Person to Administer the Taxpayer's Tax Affairs (所得税・消費税の納税管理人の届出書) and submit it to your local tax office.
  4. Make copies of your pension book inner cover (showing your pension number) and the information page of your passport
  5. Gather the contact info for:
  • Your Tax Representative
  • Your School
  • Your Contracting Organization

If you choose to submit before leaving Japan

1. Submit your Moving Out Notice (Teshutsu Todoke/手出届). Make sure you receive an updated residence form (Juminhyou) as your proof of leaving Japan.
2. Send in your Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments, along with your pension book, updated residence form, copy of your passport page, and official bank information.
  • Your official bank information can come in any form (statement, former billing, etc.), as long as it has the bank's official address or seal on it.
3. Leave Japan and wait

You may only submit this after the move out date shown on your Moving Out Notice.

If you choose to submit after leaving Japan

  1. Bring home your Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments, pension book, copy of your passport page, and a copy of your official bank information.
  2. When you get home, send in the above documents, along with a copy of your passport showing when you left Japan.
  3. Wait

You have up to 2 years to submit this application.

Where do I send my forms?

Japan Pension Service

3-5-24, Takaido-nishi, Suginami-Ku, Tokyo 168-8505 JAPAN
〒168-8505 東京都杉並区高井戸西 3 丁目 5 番 24 号 日本年金機構 (外国業務グループ)

The Waiting Game

1. After several months (about 6), you should receive a Notice of Payment of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (脱退一時金支給決定通知書), and you should receive your pension (minus 20% in taxes) to your bank account.
2. Make a copy of this notice, then send the original to your Tax Representative in Japan.
3. Your Tax Representative should take this notice to your tax office in Japan, as well as submit an application for a Tax Return (確定申告書), available at your tax office.
Note: The tax return form changes every year, so unfortunately we have no standard form to show you, but please feel free to refer your representative to this link for an example of what to look for.
4. After a few more months (about 4), the return should be deposited into either your Japanese bank account or your Tax Rep's account.
5. Have your Tax Rep transfer the money to your home bank account (Money Order, GoRemit, Transferwise, etc.)
6. Express deep and profound gratitude to your tax rep for helping you with this arduous process.

FAQ

Q1. How much do I get refunded?
A. The amount you are refunded is calculated by the following formula: Payment Amount = Your Average Standard Monthly Remuneration (ASR)x Your Multiplier.

Months paid Multiplier for final EPI coverage months between Sep. 2017 to Aug. 2018
6-11 .5
12-17 1.1
18-23 1.6
24-29 2.2
30-35 2.7
36+ 3.3
  • You can find your approximate ASR by referring to the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments PDFs.
  • Note that payments are calculated based on average gross monthly salary, so they will vary from person to person.

Please calculate your payment for yourself based on your payment history
Reference: Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments Guide. The Akita Wiki makes no claims of accuracy. Specific questions and concerns must be addressed directly to the Japan Pension Sevice

Q2. My bank doesn’t have a certified bank stamp. What should I do?
A. In this case, you will need to submit documentation including your bank’s certificate or notices, showing your bank’s name, name and address of your branch office, your bank account number, and that the account holder’s name is yours.
Reference: Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment Claim Form

Q3. I noticed the GIH and Social Insurance Agency 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 the most recent 36 months worth of pension payments refunded. This is a Social Insurance Agency regulation. Please note, however, that payments are based on your average monthly salary, your final refunded amount will reflect any rise in pay as a result of the post-2012 JET salary schedule.
Reference: Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment Claim Form

Q4. Can I apply for the pension refund from Japan?
A. Yes, but you may only submit after the moving out date listed on your Moving Out Notice.
Reference: After JET Guide, 2018 GIH p. 167

Q5. How much time will it take to get the lump-sum refund?
A. On average, it takes 3-6 months from submission of the claim form. If information on the claim form is incorrect or insufficient, the process will take longer.
Reference: Past JETs’ experiences

Q6. I didn’t designate a tax representative before I left Japan. Is it possible to do so from my home country?
A. Yes, it is possible. You do not have to be present when the form is submitted to your local tax office. Find someone in Japan willing to be your tax representative and, upon filling in the necessary information, send them the tax representative declaration form. They will then take it to the local tax office when they submit the claim for the tax refund.
Reference: 2018 GIH p. 169

Q7. Does the tax representative declaration form need to be submitted to MY local tax office?
A. Yes, it should be submitted to the tax office with jurisdiction over the address where you filed for alien registration. Note: tax offices are not always at city/town/village halls.
Reference: 2018 GIH p. 169

Q8. What if I forget to submit one of the documents with my application?
A. The Pension Service will send everything back to you except the pension book, and you will have to add anything you're missing and submit it again. It is sent with a multi-lingual instruction packet, so if you get lost you can follow it for reference.
Reference: Former JET experience (2017)

See also

Leaving JET Checklist
Finances Pension Refund • Pension book • Selling your stuff • Return tickets • Shipping items home
Career Returners Checklist • Preparing your resume • Preparing your Japanese resume • Working in Japan
After Leaving Reverse culture shock
Finances
Banks Banking in Japan • Paychecks • ATMs • GoRemit • Post Office RemittanceWestern Union
Other First Year Tax Guide • Second-Fifth Year Tax Guide • Pension Refund • Pension book