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2. Pension and Taxes

Public Pension Scheme

All registered residents of Japan over the age of 20 and under the age of 60, including foreigners, are required to join the National Pension Scheme. In addition to the Old-age Pension, which is paid to those who reach a certain age, the Disability Pension and Survivor’s Pension are also paid in some cases.
Old-age Basic Pension: For those who have been paying contributions for 25 years or more, and are over the age of 65.
Disability Basic Pension: For those who, while participating in the pension scheme, have gotten sick or injured and possess level 1 or 2 disability.
Survivor’s Basic Pension: When an insured person dies while participating in the pension scheme, either the deceased's spouse who takes care of their dependent child(ren), or their dependent child(ren) themselves, receive this pension. * “Child(ren)” refers to “an individual who has not turned 18 years old by the last day of the fiscal year (March 31)” or “an individual aged 20 years or below who possesses level 1 or 2 disability for Disability Basic Pension”.

Categories and Procedures for Applicants
Applicants fall under one of three categories, and procedures differ by category.

Category 1 insured persons
Self-employed persons, workers in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, part-timers, students, unemployed persons, etc. (except for those insured under Category 2 or 3).
* For those who fall under Category 1, after applying for the Resident Registration at the ward office, conduct the necessary procedures at the same ward office’s National Pension Section.

Category 2 insured persons
Persons who have Employees’ Pensions, such as company employees and government employees.
* Employees’ Pensions are earnings-related pensions. Contributions are paid equally by the employer and the insured person.
* Procedures are conducted through the place of employment, so the insured person does not need to do anything. For details, please inquire with your employer.
Category 3 insured persons
Spouses who are dependant of Category 2 insured person.
* Procedures are conducted at the spouse’s place of employment. For details, please inquire with your spouse’s employer.

Contribution Waiver System
If you have difficulty paying contributions due to economic reasons, you may be exempted from paying half or the entire amount, or may postpone your contribution payments once your application is approved. There is also a student special payment system. For details, please consult your ward office’s Health Insurance & Pension Section.

Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment
If you are a foreign national who has been paying contributions for the National Pension Scheme or Employees’ Pension without receiving any benefits (including Disability Pension), and no longer qualify to receive pension by leaving Japan, you can receive a lump-sum withdrawal payment based on your coverage period if you apply for it within two years of leaving Japan. For application procedures and the refund amount, please refer to the following website:
https://www.nenkin.go.jp/service/jukyu/sonota-kyufu/dattai-ichiji/20150406.html (in 9 languages including English, Chinese, and Korean).

Japan Pension Service Website

Multilingual Pamphlet Regarding the Pension System

National Health Insurance Section and Medical Expense and Pension Section Website


People who have lived in Japan for one year or more and have a fixed income must pay the following two types of taxes among others.

Income Tax (National Tax)
Income tax (shotoku-zei) is levied on income earned in one year between January and December. Income tax is based on a self-assessment system, and taxpayers must file final returns between February 16th and March 15th. However, if you are a company employee (salaried worker), income taxes are deducted from your monthly paycheck and the year-end adjustment (fixation and settlement of the amount of income tax for the year)  is handled by your employer; therefore, you do not need to file final returns in principle. However, if you have additional income or claim a deduction in medical expenses, you will need to file a tax return on your own. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to receive a tax refund. For details, please contact your employer or your nearest Taxation Office.

Fukuoka Regional Taxation Bureau
Fukuoka Joint Government Building 2-11-1 Hakata-eki Higashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Tel: 092-411-0031 (ext. 2218) *Japanese, English
Fukuoka Taxation Office 4-8-28 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka Tel:092-771-1151
Hakata Taxation Office 4-8-28 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka Tel:092-641-8131
Kashii Taxation Office 6-2-1 Chihaya, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka Tel:092-661-1031
Nishi Fukuoka Taxation Office 1-5-22 Momochi, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka Tel:092-843-6211

- National Tax Agency Website
http://www.nta.go.jp (Japanese)
http://www.nta.go.jp/foreign_language/index.htm (English)

Local Inhabitants Tax (Regional Tax)
If you earn over a certain amount of income, you must pay the Local Inhabitants Tax (also known as City Tax or Prefectural Tax) to the city or prefecture of your residence as registered on January 1st. The amount of tax is based on your income of the previous year, and you will receive a payment notice for the year (June of that year to May of the following year) every June. For salaried workers (those working in companies), the employer will send a report of salary payment (report containing annual income) after conducting year-end adjustments to the municipal office where you reside, so you do not need to file it on your own. If you file income tax return on your own, you won’t need to do this yourself either. For all other people, you must file it at your municipal office by March 15th. There are two ways of paying this tax: special collection, or tokubetsu choshu (as well as the income tax’s deduction at source, the employer will deduct tax from your monthly salary and pay it on your behalf) and regular collection, or futsu choshu (pay on your own four times a year through a tax payment slip or an account transfer). Also, since the Local Inhabitants Tax is based on the income of the previous year, even if you are currently unemployed, as long as your income of the previous year surpasses a certain amount, you will receive tax notice and need to pay it. For details, please consult your employer or your nearest ward office’s Municipal Tax Section.