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trevorcobb
June 29th, 2012, 23:57
I'm American.

July 2009: started JET July 2009
March 2011: left JET for family emergency
May 2011: went back to clean out my apartment and settle my affairs
August 2011: filed for pension refund, followed instructions to a "T", sent in blue book, copy of my bank statement with a stamp on it from my local branch, filled out all paperwork correctly

October 2011: moved to a new address different than the one on my refund application, in a different state, but have had all my mail forwarded by USPS

June 2012: have not received any notice from the Japanese Pension Service, nor have I received any money in my account

I contacted one of the Prefectural Advisors that is still there on JET that I worked with while I was there. He asked if I turned in my gaijin card when I left in March, and I didn't because I had to come back to clear out my apartment. I thought I had turned it in to the City Hall where I live in May as I was settling all my affairs but apparently I had not because I just found it in a box of stuff I have from Japan. He said this could be the reason the refund is held up or hasn't been processed.

There is no real way for me to know what the deal is, or what I should now do with my gaijin card or if that's even what the problem is because I do not know what my basic pension number is. I thought I made copies of all the docs I mailed in, but apparently I have since lost them.

I asked the PA to speak with the Prefectural BoE (I taught at a HS) to recover my basic pension number as my employer, but he told me that they don't have it. This is contrary to what I found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pension_(Japan)

"Pension Handbook
Once a person has enrolled in the national pension they will receive a pension handbook with a social security number, which serves as proof of identity. If the pension handbook is lost, category 1 members can apply at the local municipal office for it to be reissued. Category 2 members can ask their employer or the local Japan Pension Service office. Category 3 members must as through the employer of the category 2 member they are dependent on."

Also I found this:

年金手帳 - Wikipedia (http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B9%B4%E9%87%91%E6%89%8B%E5%B8%B3)

再発行 [編集]

年金のパンフレットや社会保険庁のホームページでは、年金手帳を紛失した場合に手帳の再発行申請を行うよう説明されている。なお、共済年金のみに加入している場合は「基礎年金番号通知書」の再発行となる。
最寄りの社会保険事務所で、氏名・生年月日・現住所・勤務先の名称と所在地を所定の用紙に記入する。印鑑や身分証明書などは不要である。職員がオンラインシステム上の保険料納付記録を照会するのを待ち、記録が確認されたのちに別の用紙に手帳の送付先を記入すると、1週間程度で新しい手帳が発行される。以前は窓口ですぐに再発行されていたが、2007年から郵送になった(但し、即日再発行される社会保険事務所も未だに存在している)。手続き自体は5分程度で完了する。
電子申請を使い、ネット経由で再発行申請を行うことも出来る(24時間・365日)[1]。

He told me that keeping my gaijin card would be viewed as dishonest if I left Japan and never intended to come back to work as a teacher, and he actually suggested to me that I fly back to Japan to turn the gaijin card in at the airport and if that's what I have to do, I'm not opposed to visiting Japan when I can get a cheap flight, but how can I even if that's what the problem is or not?

I've asked my supervisor if she can contact the local pension office to recover my basic pension number, and then call the national office to inquire about my refund once she has my basic pension number, but with all the bureaucracy and red tape with Japanese government, I'm not hopeful.

Any input guys? Advice? How can I not forego the few thousand bucks that I would otherwise stand to receive were it not for being an idiot?