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
The following provides information about compulsory coverage under the Japanese system.
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.
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.
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.