Pension payment rate in Okinawa is lowest in Japan

According to Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare statistics, the number of people paying into the national pension system is at the lowest level ever. The ministry says that its statistics covering the period Apr. 2012 through Feb. 2013, only 58.2 percent of those who should pay, are actually paying. Although the statistics cover only 11 months, as the numbers for March is not yet available, it indicates that the final number is likely to be less than 60% for the fourth consecutive year.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare investigators say that the reason for the low rate could be that the generation who paid into the pension system at high rate is turning into receivers as they age, and the current generation has a hard time to pay because of unstable employment situations, like irregular employment, are increasing, and preventing an increase in the payment rate.

By prefecture, the payment rate from Apr. 2012 through Feb. 2013, Niigata Prefecture had the highest rate of 70.8%, followed by Shimane at 70.7%, and Fukui at 69.4%. The worst is Okinawa where only 37.7% of people pay. Osaka is the second worst with 48.8%. In Tokyo, 54.5% pay.

Also, according to Ministry, the rate of irregular employees or part timers was 26.1% of the work force in 2008, when in 1999 it was 16.6%. The amount of income for a family paying into the pension system is shrinking, too.  While it was ¥4,630,000 per year in 1999, it was ¥3,420,000 in 2008.