Japan Pension Service
The Japan Pension Service (日本年金機構 Nihonnenkinkikou?) is an Government organization administered by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. On January 1, 2010 it replaced the Social Insurance Agency.
It is a special public corporation with a non-governmental employees headquarters, nine regional headquarters, and 312 branch offices. It has 47 processing centers, which are planned to be integrated into the 9 regional headquarters. The president of the JPS is Takashi Kikiru, and it has around 27,000 total staff, 15,000 full-time staff and 12,000 temporary workers.
The JPS is responsible for managing all tasks related to the public pension system:
- Handling applications
- Collecting contributions
- Keeping records
- Pension consultations
- Paying benefits
Pension records problem
The Social Insurance Agency, the predecessor to the Japan Pension Service, computerized their records in 1979 and in 1997 the SIA attempted to integrate three different databases together. Numerous problems resulted from this and in May 2007 it was exposed by the then-opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan that 50 million pre-1997 premium payers could not be matched to any citizen enrolled in the system. The then-ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, subsequently suffered a loss in the 2007 election, which was partly attributed to the pension scandal.
By January 2010, 14 million of these 50 million records had been consolidated with an existing pension number.
Issues with nonpayment of pension
Under the new system when the JPS was launched in January 2010, the organization is allowed to delegate to the National Tax Agency authority to forcibly collect unpaid pension premiums, but this has not been occurring. Analysts attributed it to squabbles between the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, under which the JPS operates, and the Ministry of Finance, under which the National Tax Agency works. The ratio of people continuing to pay their national pension premiums has been dropping, falling to 56% as of October 2011. The number of companies failing to make pension payments hit 162,400 nationwide in 2010.
More than 100,000 business have refused to join the program in the three years up to 2012. JPS staff have visited non-compliant businesses and sent notices urging them to join the program. In some cases it has forced businesses to join. It was announced in May 2012 that the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare would file a complaint with police and publish the names of the offending companies. The Employees' Pension Insurance Act stipulates a prison term of up to six months or a fine of up to 500,000 yen for any violator of the law, but the law has rarely been applied.
- Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare
- Social Insurance Agency
- National Pension (Japan) -- mentions International (bilateral) Social Security Agreements
- International Social Security Association website Establishment of the “Japan Pension Service” Retrieved on November 24th 2010
- Japan Pension Service website English information Retrieved on November 24th 2010
- The Japan Times website Bloated bureaucracy exposed Retrieved November 24th 2010
- The Japan Times website Special panel to investigate pension fiasco Retrieved November 24th 2010
- The Japan Times website Poll-wary ruling bloc gropes to fix pension fiasco Retrieved November 24th 2010
- The Japan Times website Ruling coalition suffers huge defeat Retrieved November 24th 2010
- The Daily Yomiuri Pension 'trump card' goes unplayed / System to forcibly collect unpaid premiums dormant since creation 2 years ago Jan 10 2012 Retrieved on August 1, 2012
- The Mainichi Shimbun Welfare ministry to bring charges against businesses dodging employee pension plan May 4 2012 Retrieved on August 1, 2012