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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 30 - June 5  > 50 million pension records remain unidentified
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2007 May 30 - June 5 [WELFARE]

50 million pension records remain unidentified

June 1, 2007
The government has failed to identify the holders of more than 50 million pension records, which make many people unable to receive the pension benefits that they are entitled to.

The problem was initially caused by the introduction in 1997 of a system to assign uniform “basic pension numbers” to all public-pension holders.

The Social Insurance Agency conducted operations to integrate pension records that had been managed separately under particular public-pension plans (employee pension, national pension, etc.) into holder-specific records using the “basic pension number.”

The agency found that there were many pension records the holders of which could not be confirmed because of inconsistencies in holders’ names or birth dates, possibly caused by mistyping or other errors. The agency, however, has failed to take measures to deal with this problem in the past ten years.

As a result, 50.6 million pension records are left unidentified.

Local municipalities should keep the original copies of national pension premium payment records, but many of them have already been disposed of.

In order to identify holders of records, the government is requiring pension holders to present payment receipts or other documents proving that they actually paid the pension premiums, shifting the responsibility onto the individual.

For those who have been unable to prove payments, the government either does not pay or cuts the amount of pension benefits. Even if they prove their payment of premiums, the government has refused to pay retroactively for more then five years on the grounds of the statute of limitations.

The welfare ministry estimates that due to the statute of limitations, the government has refused the payment of 95 billion yen to a quarter million people. – Akahata, June 1, 2007
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