Japan, India ink pact to stop dual pension premium payments

Kyodo

Japan and India signed a social security agreement Friday under which expatriate employees will no longer be required to pay pension premiums in both countries, the Foreign Ministry said.

The government plans to secure Diet approval for the accord, which will reduce the financial burden on expatriate employees, and submit related legislation so the deal can come into force, possibly in the latter half of 2013, the ministry said.

India is the 16th nation to sign such an agreement with Japan. Other countries include Germany and Britain. Documents were signed by Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and Indian Ambassador to Japan Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, the ministry said.

Under the current system, the countries’ expatriate employees are obligated to pay pension premiums in both countries but are not eligible for benefits unless they have paid premiums for a certain number of years, making it almost impossible for them to benefit from the premiums paid during the period.

The new accord stipulates that Japanese and Indian expatriate employees in the two countries will only pay into the pension program of their home country if they leave the other country within five years.

Long-term foreign residents of more than five years will pay the premiums into the program of their country of residence. The period of payments in both countries can be totaled.

A combined 5,554 Japanese nationals were in India as of Nov. 1, 2011, with roughly half believed to be expatriate employees, the ministry added.