Japan Social Insurance - Understanding the System

Shakai Hoken (社会保険) is a social insurance that encompasses health insurance, retirement, accident and even funeral insurance. If the registrant dies, the family will receive a pension. If disabled, the holder will receive a disability pension. In case of illness, you will be covered by 70% of medical and hospital expenses.

Social Security, or Shakai Hoken, is administered by the Japanese government, which is registered through the employer and is made up of Health Insurance (kenko hoken) and Social Security (kousei nenkin).

Shakai Hoken is a mandatory insurance that companies must register their employees. Payment is mandatory for employees who work for more than 2 months in a company, work more than 6 hours a day and receive more than 75% of earned earnings.

How much do I pay for Shakai Hoken?

Shakai Hoken is a benefit package, the amounts are defined between retirement and Health Insurance. Shakai Hoken fees depend on the province the person resides in, and 50% of the amount is paid by the company the person works for.

  • Approximately 10% of the salary is used for health insurance;
  • Approximately 17% for retirement and 1% for other care;

The company pays half of the 28%, so approximately 13% is deducted from your salary for the Shakai Hoken payment. Values may vary according to age, job, province, etc.

Yen money

If the person receives a salary of 330,000 yen, approximately 40,000 yen is deducted from the salary for the payment of this insurance. 15,000 for health insurance and 25,000 for retirement.

The benefits of Shakai Hoken

Health insurance – 70% of medical costs are covered by insurance. There is also insurance that does not let medical costs exceed 80,100 yen per month. If the person has an injury or illness, and is unable to work and receive the salary, he/she receives 60% of the lost salary for up to 1 and a half years.

If the holder of Shakai Hoken is pregnant, he/she can receive 60% of the salary on which he/she is unable to due to childbirth. A mother who gives birth to a baby will receive a birth allowance of 420,000 yen.

Shakai Hoken also pays for other hospital necessities such as orthopedic and physical therapy products. If the holder or dependent dies, funeral allowance of approximately 50,000 yen will be paid.


Pension – After having paid Social Security for 25 years, the insured, after reaching the age of 65, will be eligible to receive a pension until his death. If the person dies, dependents can receive a pension of more than 1 million yen per year.

In case of disability you will also receive a pension. Foreigners who have contributed to Shakai Hoken or another pension system, upon returning to their country, can request a refund that varies according to the time worked. There are several other benefits.


If you are self-employed and not registered with Shakai Hoken, there are several alternatives such as Kokumin Kenko Hoken and Kokumin Nenkin. All people over the age of 20, regardless of nationality, need to enroll in some health insurance and social security.

It is not possible to talk about everything about Shakai Hoken in just one article. There are many specific details that would go into creating a book. We recommend that you see some articles on this subject at connexion.tokyo and IPC Digital.

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