Consultation: "My Company Isn't Paying My Half Of Insurance!"

gu consultation

The General Union receives multiple inquiries from people on a daily basis, and a lot of the assistance that we provide is often helpful for other people.

This "consultation" series aims to share some of the advice that we give to members and non-members alike.

In this consultation:

 My company didn't inform me about health insurance and pensions when I started working for them several years ago. They expected me to leave Japan after a year, but I stayed. Since then, I've never paid anything into the system. My company said that there is social insurance, and that I need to pay half and the company needs to pay half. 

My salary is ¥280,000 a month, so the insurance should be ¥44,800. Half of that is ¥22,400, but my company told me that I will need to pay the full ¥44,800 a month! I think they are trying to make me pay it all on my own. Is this right?

(content edited for brevity and privacy) 

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Depending upon how the contract is written, the company may be obligated to enroll you.

The quoted figure of ¥44,000 yen that they quoted is actually correct -- ¥44,000 is your "half".

Although people often describe social insurance as "the employee pays half and the company pays half", this often confuses people it suggests that the company should be paying 50% of what is deducted from your salary every month.

A better way to describe social insurance is that the employer is obliged to match your contributions: you pay ¥44,000, and the employer pays ¥44,000.

As for the issue of having never paid into the insurance system until now, despite the company having (potentially) broken the law by not enrolling you in social insurance to begin with, you have broken the law by not enrolling yourself in national insurance as well.

If your company doesn't enroll you, it is your responsibility to enroll in both health and pension at city hall -- ignorance is not considered an excuse in the eyes of the pension service.

As of right now, you are liable for two years of unpaid pension arrears.

If you go down to your local city office and enroll you will, in all likelihood, receive a bill for arrears payment sometime this year.

If the company enrolls you (as they probably should), a bill may still come -- but, then again, this doesn't always happen.

If you do receive a bill (especially for health insurance), you should definitely and negotiate a payment plan as soon as possible as they can be very aggressive in collecting what you owe them if you ignore it (including, but not limited to, garnishing wages and seizure of property).

The pension agency has traditionally been less aggressive in regards to collecting arrears, but we've seen them become more active in recent years in regards to getting people to pay what they owe.

We also suspect that unpaid pension could affect things like visa issuance and even permanent residency approval, so it's always better to be on their "good side". 

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Consultations for non-members such as this are only possible thanks to the continued support of our dues-paying members.

Even so, due to the substantial amount of time, effort, and research that many complicated consultation requests demand, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to answer all inquiries from non-members -- we simply receive too many requests to handle.

Before contacting us for basic information, please be aware that many of the questions that the General Union receives can often already be found on our website: http://www.generalunion.org/component/search/

Additional information