800,000 firms likely dodged pension scheme

The Yomiuri Shimbun

About 800,000 small and midsize companies are strongly suspected of evading their legal obligation to join the public pension scheme for company employees, according to the results of a joint investigation by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the National Tax Agency.

The ministry identified the companies that have likely not joined the pension scheme by examining data provided by the tax agency.

The ministry and the Japan Pension Service (JPS) will begin strict guidance of such companies starting in April, the beginning of the next fiscal year, and intend to conduct on-the-spot inspections if the companies disobey their instructions. Through these actions, the ministry and the JPS aim to compel them to join the public pension scheme for company employees.

Millions of people may not be covered by the employees’ pension scheme because of their employers’ failure to join. To prevent workers from falling into poverty after retirement, the ministry aims to implement measures to fundamentally resolve the problem.