GN 01745.015 Coverage and Contributions under the Japanese System
Japan has a two-tier program. Coverage under the National Pension (NP) is based on residence in Japan, while coverage under the Employees’ Pension Insurance (EPI) and the government-sponsored mutual aid societies is credited based on a worker’s earnings.
B. Policy - Compulsory Coverage
The following provides information about compulsory coverage under the Japanese system.
1. National Pension (NP)
The NP system covers all residents of Japan from age 20 up to age 60, including foreign nationals and self-employed persons. Residents, foreign nationals and self-employed persons are subject to compulsory contributions.
2. Employees’ Pension Insurance (EPI)
The EPI system and the government-sponsored mutual aid societies cover workers employed in firms with at least 5 employees and are subject to compulsory contributions.
C. Policy - Voluntary Coverage
Japanese nationals who reside outside of Japan and who are not compulsorily covered under any of the Japanese Social Security programs are permitted to make voluntary contributions to the NP system to maintain his or her current coverage connection and benefit rights.