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Satoshi Sekiguchi


Satoshi Sekiguchi

Partner / Social insurance and Labor Consultant

Procedures for Social Insurance (Health Insurance and Welfare Pension) in Japan

April 21, 2020


Please tell me about the procedures for social insurance (health insurance and welfare pension insurance).


When a Japanese corporation or a Japanese branch office is a business that is covered by social insurance (health insurance and welfare pension insurance), new application notices for health insurance and welfare pension will be submitted to the relevant pension office. In addition, you will also simultaneously submit notices for insured persons’ qualification acquisition for health insurance and employee pension insurance of social insurance members.


Social Insurance

Social insurance is divided into health insurance, welfare pension insurance and long-term (nursing) care insurance.Health insurance is a guarantee system for injury, illness, childbirth and death. When such events occur, the amount paid by the individual is reduced or for childcare, a lump sum can be given to the person.

Welfare pension insurance is a security system for life, disability and death in old age, and in addition to the old-age pension wherein you receive your accumulated savings, there are disability pension and survivor’s pension.

With long-term care insurance, people over the age of 40 are obliged to join so that elderly people who require long-term care can receive care services. Procedures for health insurance and nursing care insurance are done as a set.

As a general rule, the people (including the executive) under a corporation will subscribe to the corporation’s social insurance. However, there is no need to include short-term workers whose working hours do not meet certain criteria.

Social insurance premiums are calculated by multiplying the standard monthly fee by the insurance rate. Pension insurance is common throughout the country, but health insurance rates vary depending on the prefecture. Since the insured person over the age of 40 will be charged a long-term care premium, the insurance slightly increases.

In addition, although social insurance premiums are basically shared by the employer and the employee, only child care contributions will be shouldered entirely by the employer.

People who need to get Social Insurance

People under a business that is covered by social insurance, regardless of their nationality and compensation, are included in the health and welfare insurances. However, if neither of the following conditions apply, they do not need to join.① Working time is three quarters or more of those for regular employees
② Working days are three quarters or more of those for regular working days

For example, in the case of establishments with work of 5 days/40 hours a week, people who work 3 days a week or more, or 30 hours a week or more, need to enroll in health insurance and welfare pension insurance. But those who work 20 hours a week do not have to join. In addition, in the case of an establishment that always uses 500 or more insured persons, it is necessary to include even some short-term workers.

The above criteria cannot be applied to officers who do not have the concept of working hours, so it will be determined by the presence or absence of their compensation, the actual conditions of work, and others.

Social Insurance Joining Procedure

In the social insurance entry procedure, you will submit a notice of new application for welfare pension and social insurance. Fill in the name, address, name of business owner and address of the business establishment and submit it to the Japan Pension Service in the Health and Welfare Pension and Social Insurance New Application Registry.・ Registered copy (original)
・ Receipt of public utility charges (copy)
・ Office lease contract (copy)

The office lease contract must be attached if you register with an address different from the registered one. Also, in principle, it has to be under the name of the corporation.

Next, in the welfare pension and social insurance insured qualification acquisition notification, fill in the name, date of birth, basic pension number, amount of remuneration, etc. of the person who will subscribe to social insurance, and submit it to the Japan Pension Service. If you do not have a basic pension number, such as being a foreigner working for the first time in Japan, you can acquire a new one. When someone of foreign nationality joins, the notice for welfare pension insurance of insured person is submitted simultaneously, with the name in Roman letters.

When applying for a dependent on health insurance, submit a notice of health insurance dependent change at the same time of application, in which case it is necessary to attach a document (resident’s card, etc. where all the households are listed) that confirms the relationship.

It is possible for those who live outside Japan to join Japan’s social insurance (for example, when a non-Japanese resident takes office as a full-time director of a Japanese corporation). In this case, submit a copy of your official ID (passport, etc.).

<Complete Set of Documents Necessary for Social Insurance (Health Insurance and Welfare Pension Insurance) Joining Procedure>

・Health Insurance・Welfare Pension Insurance New Application Notice
Registered copy (original)
Copy of utility bill receipt
Copy of office lease contract

・Health Insurance・Welfare Pension Insurance Insured Person Qualification Acquisition Notice

・Only for those who are not Japanese nationals
Report of employee pension insurance with name in Roman letters

・When applying for health insurance dependents
Health Insurance Dependent Change Notification
Resident Card with all the households listed(original

・When one with residence outside of Japan participates in insurance
Public identification card (Passport copy, etc.)

When the social insurance procedure is completed, the establishment number and the number will be assigned to the establishment, the application notice will be returned from the pension office, and the health insurance card (If you are a member of Japan’s social insurance for the first time, there will be a pension notebook) will be delivered in about a week thereafter. Depending on the prefecture and time, the health card will take about 2 weeks to 1 month from procedure to be delivered.

Payment of Social Insurance Premium

Social insurance premiums must be paid by the last day of the following month (payment by bank transfer is also possible). For example, if you join social insurance on September, the first payment notice will be sent from the pension office at around October 20, which you will pay by the end of October.

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