New relief on vanished pensions / Guidelines will allow separate records to verify missing payments

A government panel has announced new support measures for victims of the “vanished pension” scandal that will make it easier for people to verify they paid pension premiums for which records are missing, it was learned Friday.

According to the new guidelines, people who have missing records for corporate employees’ pension payments will be able to have their payments verified at local offices of the Japan Pension Service if they bring in records of payments made to employees’ pension funds or company health insurance associations over the same periods.

Employees’ pension funds are a kind of corporate pension. Operated independently, they manage part of the premiums paid into the employees’ pension plan. Such funds pay a portion of pension benefits on behalf of the government, and keep records of the employees’ pension plans.

After officially deciding on the new guideline at the end of this month, the panel will study the possibility of introducing the new system as early as April.

The third-party committee also has handled pension cases that resulted from mistakes made by companies and the Social Insurance Agency, including people whose payment records were missing because they were transferred to different workplaces within their companies. There also have been cases in which the dates on which people were listed as joining and withdrawing from employees’ pension funds were off by just one day.