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Thread: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

  1. #1
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    Default Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    Hi guys,

    I did a search and checked previous threads for an answer, but didn't see one. Sincerest apologies if I missed it, and if so I'd appreciate a link!

    So I'm a 6th year ALT (5 years JET, 1 year direct contract with same BOE) who is finally finishing up. I'm going to get married and change to a spousal visa and continue to live and work in Japan for another few years at least. I'm currently thinking about the pension refund and trying to decide if I want to get it or not.

    My main question is: As an American, if I apply for the pension refund and get it, what happens to the other 3 years I worked that weren't refunded? Do they get put into the US system or Japanese system as years worked still, or do they disappear since I got the pension? And if I don't get the pension, then can the 6 years be counted in the US? 6 years of work is nothing to sneeze at, but we could really use the money right now. I'm trying to decide if losing the 3 years is really worth it to me.

    (Also I know that you can't apply for it if you are still a resident in Japan, before anyone pops up to tell me... my visa expires this July, so depending on what immigration tells me today, I may have to fly home and stay until my spousal visa is processed. If that's the case, I can turn in my card etc, apply for the refund, then come back on the spouse visa with a new name and be able to get the refund. If I don't have to leave, I might anyway just to visit, but that depends.)

    If anyone has any info about this, or can direct me to a place where I can find out, I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks~!

  2. #2
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    You get up to three years: the rest is lost completely. Claiming the refund zeroes your Japanese pension (afaik), so if you came back and work you'll be starting from zero again.

    There was a discussion on Official recently about transferring from the Japanese pension directly to another pension: it's usually not money, it's "time worked" or similar, and depends a lot on the country you're from.
    ...because Japan.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    Thank you Antonath, that makes a difference to know you lose the extra years. I have heard that Japan and the US have an agreement that you can transfer years worked into the other's pension system, so it might be better to keep the 6 years. At the same time, with how pension is going in both countries, the hard cash might be the better investment...

    Anyway, thanks for your reply! I'll try to find the thread on official and see if it has any good info for me!

  4. #4
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    Quote Originally Posted by scarreddragon View Post
    come back on the spouse visa with a new name and be able to get the refund
    Can you really do that? I thought that you had to be out of Japan for at least six months in order to get the refund?

  5. #5
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    nah, i know people who have returned after 2 weeks.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Senior Member kenkennif's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    I'm just going to stay in the country until I retire and claim back the whole thing - Mwahahahhaaaa
    (Yet they'll still call me a gaijin at the age of 65...) *sigh*

  7. #7
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    the way you behave are you surprised?
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  8. #8
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkennif View Post
    I'm just going to stay in the country until I retire and claim back the whole thing - Mwahahahhaaaa
    (Yet they'll still call me a gaijin at the age of 65...) *sigh*
    I thought you could only claim 2 years....
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

  9. #9
    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    Three years, and kenkennif is implying that they're going to become a permanent resident, and therefore able to claim retirement benefits when they get old.
    ...because Japan.

  10. #10
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pension Refund: To keep or not to keep...

    That well is going to be long dry by the time we are old enough to claim it
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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