Pension Premium Exemption, Moratorium Cases Hit Record High

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, June 28 (Jiji Press)--The combined number of people who were fully exempted from or granted a moratorium for payments of premiums for Japan's "kokumin nenkin" pension program came to 6.09 million in fiscal 2020, the welfare ministry said Monday.

The figure, up by 260,000 from fiscal 2019, marked the highest level since the country's basic public pension system was introduced in fiscal 1986. The increase was due to the fallout of the novel coronavirus crisis.

The premium collection rate for the kokumin nenkin program in fiscal 2020, which ended in March, grew 2.2 percentage points from the previous year to 71.5 pct, up for nine years in a row. The number of people who paid no premiums fell by 100,000 to 1.15 million.

The rise in the rate apparently reflected the introduction of a special measure to exempt people whose income plunged due to the epidemic from premium payments or grant them a payment moratorium. Those eligible for the special measure were excluded from the calculation of the premium collection rate.

In addition, continuous efforts to collect premiums, such as sending letters urging payments, paid off although the Japan Pension Service, the operator of the country's public pension system, suspended visits to nonpayers and forcible collection in order to prevent infection with the coronavirus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press