Japan Data

National Pension Payment Rate Rises to 73.9% in Japan

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The payment rate for Japan’s kokumin nenkin national pension insurance program in 2021 was 73.9%, marking a ten-year consecutive improvement. However, the figures do not include people who have been exempted from or granted moratoriums for paying premiums.

The kokumin nenkin national pension insurance program in Japan is for the self-employed and some other workers. In 2021, the number of people who were exempted or granted moratoriums for kokumin nenkin pension payments rose by 30,000 year-on-year to 6.12 million, the highest ever since the introduction of the basic pension system in 1986.

Behind the increase was the government’s introduction of a special measure in May 2020 to exempt all or part of the premium payments for those whose income has suddenly dropped. This was part of the government’s economic stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 2022, 14.3 million people were registered in the kokumin nenkin national pension scheme and more than 40% were exempted from or granted a moratorium for payments.

The rate of premium payments received in fiscal 2021 increased by 2.4 points from 2020 to 73.9%. This is the tenth consecutive year that the rate has improved. Pension premiums can be paid retroactively up to a period of two years. This meant that the final payment rate in 2019 also rose for the ninth consecutive year to 78.0%.

However, people who were fully exempted from or granted a moratorium for payments were not included in that calculation, so when those exemptions are factored in, the actual payment rate drops to 41.4%.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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