National Pension Plan
All foreign mid- to long-term residents in Japan (ex. those who have the resident status of "Student" over 3 months) aged 20 or over are required to join the National Pension Plan. It provides income security in old age or in case you become disabled. The monthly premium is 15,250 yen (as of April 2014), but you may apply for a fee waver through the following procedures. For further information, please contact your local government office.
Apply for a "Special Pension Payment Exemption for Students" (GAKUSEINOFU TOKUREI SEIDO). After making this application you will be exempt from paying pension insurance premiums. Application procedures for pension payment exemption need to be completed every year (around April).
Non-regular Students (auditors, research students, etc.)
Apply for a "General Exemption" (MENJO). A General Exemption Application needs to be submitted if a person and his spouse earned no income at all in Japan during the previous financial year.
If you want to apply beforehand for a "General Exemption" (MENJO) for after next year, please circle "Yes" (HAI) in the last column when filling out the application form. Your application will be automatically examined, no need to apply again.
You will probably receive the bill for your pension premium before receiving the result of your application for exemption from payment. Do not pay the premium until you receive the application for exemption result.