Do companies have a responsibility to enroll foreign nationals in the employee pension insurance system?

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The Employee’s Pension Insurance (EPI) is the mandatory national pension plan set up by the Japanese government. Participation is mandatory and all full-time employees who work for companies in Japan with 5 or more employees must be covered by the EPI. Part time workers are also covered if his or her work arrangements resemble those of a regular worker.

Employers are responsible for signing up their employees to the EPI system. However, some individuals who are not subject to the mandatory coverage may also voluntarily sign up for EPI with the help of their employer.

Non-Japanese citizens who have worked in Japan for more than 6 months may make a lump-sum withdrawal from the EPI fund when they leave Japan. This withdrawal must be made within two years from the foreign national’s departure from Japan. This allows foreign nations who have worked in Japan to keep the money that they have put into the EPI system even if they do not plan to retire in Japan.

If you have any questions about tax law in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.