Usually retired company employees are entitled to basic pension benefits as well as an additional pension benefit, the latter a corporate pension benefit that has accrued from the management of part of the premiums they have contributed. The management of the premiums is done by employees pension funds organizations, called kosei nenkin kikin.
But the Pension Fund Association (Kigyo Nenkin Rengokai) reports that some 1.21 million people are not receiving the additional benefit even though they are entitled to it. In most cases they either have forgotten to apply for it or their current addresses are unknown. The association is made up of employee pension fund organizations. Its main task is to pay the additional benefit to people whose employee pension fund organizations have been disbanded due to company problems and people who have withdrawn from the kosei nenkin pension system for company employees without paying premiums for at least 10 years.
According to a report submitted in September by the association to welfare minister Ritsuo Hosokawa, some 6.16 million people, as of the end of July, were theoretically entitled to the benefit if they completed and returned application forms. But some 450,000 people did not respond even though application forms were mailed to them and application forms did not reach some 760,000 people because their addresses had changed. Unclaimed benefits total ¥144 billion.
The association guesses that when the benefit is ¥10,000 or less a month, some people may think that the benefit is not worth the trouble of sending the application form. It is also is trying to find the current addresses of people who have moved.
To get full pension benefits, retired workers should find out whether their former employers had corporation pension systems and contact the association if necessary. For its part, the government should simplify the procedures to get pension benefits and social insurance benefits so that retirees can receive the money to which they are entitled without fail.
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