(1) Enrolling in the national pension plan
All people that reside in Japan and are 20 years of age or older (including international students) are required to enroll in the national pension plan. International students aged 20 or older must submit a Moving-in Notification (“ten-nyu todoke”) at the municipal or ward office, and at this time must enroll in the national pension plan. Those who were under 20 years of age when arriving in Japan, must enroll in the national pension plan when they turn 20. Approximately one month after enrolling, they will be sent a blue Pension Handbook and National Pension Contribution Payment Slip. Please keep your Pension Handbook in a safe place (it will be required if you live or work in Japan in the future. Save it and do not throw it away, even after you return to your home country.)
(2) National pension contribution amount and Special Payment System for Students
As of fiscal 2012, the monthly national pension contribution amount is ¥14,980. For students aged 20 or older who have little income and have difficulty paying the contribution, there is a Special Payment System for Students under which they are exempt from making payments. However, the Special Payment System for Students does not cover non-degree students, research students, and international exchange students enrolled at the university for less than one year. Instead, a Contribution Payment Exemption System covers these students. International students must make use of these systems so that their unpaid contributions are not considered delinquent. For application procedures, please inquire at the national pension section of your municipal or ward office. Note that you must apply for the Special Payment System for Students or the Contribution Payment Exemption System anew every year.