About Pension and Health Care during your Work Holiday Visa
May 9, 2018
Today a bit of a technical subject, but very important -as experience tells that this will generate a lot of questions during the season.
So let's dive in:
First, let's remember that according to the law, every Japanese resident needs to pay pension one way or another.
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 to Health Insurance and Pension and is obligated to subtract directly from your salary the corresponding contributions. The upshot is that the company pays 50% of the total cost (for both pensions and health care).
In the case written above (you work more than 30 hrs a week), the monthly contribution is afixed 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.
In the case written above, the company has to subtract contribution from your salary for each month when you are employed on the last calendar day of the month. This means practically that if your contract begins on 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 paying for this.
There are some ways to get back the pension contribution in a lump sum, but you have to have worked in Japan for more than 6 months. So keep the pension book if you want to keep working in Japan, as this may be very useful when you will leave Japan to ask for a lump sum.
Please read those four points very carefully as unfortunately you will have to understand that if you want to understand your pay slip.
Some basic vocabulary:
The "National Pension System" (Kokumin nenkin) is the system you have to pay for when you are *not* a company employee. Go to the local town hall to have more information regarding this.
The "Employee Pension System" is the system where companies register their employees.
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.