350,000 people receive their first pension cheque today

October 13 , 2017

Senior citizens who thought they would never see a pension cheque will now be able to receive pension income for the rest of their lives.

On October 13, some 350,000 senior citizens who had no pension income received their first pension cheque as a result of the shorter pension eligibility period—lowering it from from a minimum of 25 years to 10 years—that went into effect in August this year. Komeito has been one of the biggest advocates of this eligibility easing.

The shorter pension eligibility period will enable some 640,000 pension-less individuals to receive a payment. Those receiving cheques during this current payment period are applicants who completed the registration process before August. Hereafter, cheques will be issued every two months, on even-numbered months.

Applicants who registered during the month of August will be issued cheques in November, and thereafter also receive cheques every two months on even-numbered months.

Pension amounts will depend on the duration one has made premium payments. Those registered under the national program that have paid in premiums for the full period of 40 years will be able to receive 65,000 yen per month, while those under the ten-year pay-in period will be eligible for some 16,200 yen a month.

Komeito had advocated for shortening the eligibility period because the consumption tax was scheduled to rise by 10%. Last year, after the decision was made to delay the tax hike until October 2019, during the 2016 autumn Diet session, Komeito continually underscored the need to prioritize support to low-income elderly citizens, effectively taking the lead in realizing this new law.

During the upcoming House of Representatives elections, Komeito is also pushing for additional government support to low-income earners and a greater easing of nursing care insurance premiums before the 10% tax hike goes into effect.