By when do you need to claim Japanese pension refunds?

By | 01/10/2023

You need to claim your pension refund within 2 years after losing Japanese address

Non-Japanese persons are permitted to claim their pension refunds (Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments) within 2 years after “you do not have an address in Japan”.
In Japanese resident registration system all residents who are going to move out of Japan shall submit Moving-out notification (転出届 [Tenshutsu Todoke]) at the city office where they reside. Submitting Moving-out notification deletes your Japanese address from the reported departure date, so you can claim your pension refund within 2 years after that date.
Claimforms and additional documents must reach Tokyo office of Japan Pension Service (JPS, 日本年金機構) by the final date of 2 years. So it would be safe to send forms and documents to JPS well before the deadline comes.

You cannot necessarily claim your pension refund within 2 years after the expiration of Japanese visa

What if you leave Japan without submitting Moving-out notification at city office?
Some persons might have forgot to submit it, and others might have planned to come back to Japan soon but changed it for inevitable reasons.

In that case your Japanese address will be left unchanged. It will be at least for some time, and might be left at longest at the date of the expiration of your Japanese visa.
If your Japanese address is left unchanged, then you cannot claim your pension refund. Therefore you need to submit Moving-out notification at the city office, by yourself from abroad or by an agent you designate (like our office YouAT).
After you submit Moving-out notification your Real departure date is registered as the time when “you lose your address in Japan”. So you need to claim your pension refund within 2 years after the REAL departure date from Japan, not the date you submit Moving-out notification.

Furthermore, what if you never submit Moving-out notification until your visa expires?
In that case it is possible that your Japanese address is suddenly deleted by the city office even within the period when your visa is valid. The city office can delete it after confirming another person lives in your old address or confirming no proof of living there. The forced deletion of your Japanese address won’t be informed to you.
So please submit Moving-out notification and claim your pension refund well before the deadline of 2 years in order to receive your pension refund.

You can claim your pension refund again past 2 years from the departure if your first claim is sent back

In that case you still have a qualification to claim it again. The first claim is already accepted by JPS in time. But if JPS sends forms back due to the reason that “You didn’t claim it within 2 years after losing Japanese address”, then naturally you cannot claim it again.

Special case (1) – if you stay in Japan after the expiration of visa

If you stayed in Japan after the expiration of your visa for some reason, then you need to claim your pension refund within 2 years after the date of the expiration. For details of this case, please see the article of our blog.

Special case (2) – if you come back to Japan after losing qualification to claim, but not being registered in Japanese pension again

Even if you don’t claim your pension refund for 2 years after you leave Japan, you are permitted to claim it again after you come back to Japan and get Japanese address somewhere. But please note that it is permitted only if you are registered in one of Japanese pension systems again (Kokumin Nenkin / Kosei Nenkin / Kyosai). Living in Japan again but without being registered in a Japanese pension system again keeps you from getting back a qualification to claim your past pension refund.

YouAT LLC gives you services for Japanese pension and tax refunds

We YouAT LLC has more than 10 year’s history to support non-Japanese employees’ “Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments”, “Old Age Pension”, and income tax refunds.
We have staff of Labor and Social Security Attorney, Administrative Scrivener, and Tax Accountant.

Please feel free to contact us for Japanese Pension and Tax Refunds!

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