About Pension and Health Care during your Work Holiday Visa

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Today is a bit of a technical subject, but very important. Experience tells us that this will generate a lot of questions during the season.

So let's dive in!

  1. First, let's remember that according to the law, every Japanese resident needs to pay pension one way or another. A Japanese resident includes those with a working holiday visa!

  2. If you have a contract with a company and work more than 30 hours a week, the company is obligated by law to register you for Japanese Health Insurance and Pension. It is also obligated to subtract contributions directly from your salary. The upshot is that the company pays 50% of the total cost (for both pensions and health care).

  3. In the above case, the monthly contribution is a fixed amount for the whole length of your contract, determined according to your average monthly salary. So if you are paid hourly and work a lot at peak season, the contribution doesn't change. However if you are paid hourly and take two weeks off, the contribution doesn't change as well.

  4. Furthermore, the contribution is subtracted on the last calendar day of the month. Basically, if your contract begins in the last week of November and finishes on March 20th, the company is obligated to pay for the month of November, but not for the month of March. Please keep in mind that in this example, you are still obligated to pay (on your own) for the month of March. Staff at the Kutchan town hall can help you with this.

  5. If you have worked in Japan for longer than 6 months, you may apply to get your pension contributions back. So keep the pension record book if you plan to keep working in Japan after the season with us. It will be very useful when you will leave Japan to apply for a lump sum payment.

Understanding your pay slip

Some basic vocabulary:

Kokumin nenkin or The "National Pension System" is the system whereby you have to contribute when you are *not* a company employee. The local town hall has more information regarding this.

The "Employee Pension System" is the system where companies register their employees.

For more information:


This post is meant as informative purpose only as we are not experts on the matter, and the law may change before this post's publishing time and the time where you read it. Always consult the appropriate authorities if you have any questions.

#workholidayvisa #pension #japan #lumpsum #vacationniseko

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