Friday, July 21, 2006

Axe the gaijin tax!

There seems to be a lot of interest in tinkering with immigration rules in Japan recently, with the competing tensions of an aging, shrinking native population versus the fear-mongering of the anti-immigration right wing. There is some pandering to the latter but also one or two encouraging signs of sanity in this article if you look carefully enough.

One thing that I've grumbled about before is the grotesquely unfair pension system. We are all forced to pay a significant pension contribution (directly taken from our salaries), but unless we pay for 25(?) years, we get no pension entitlement at all. If/when we leave the country, we get a partial refund - but this is capped after 3 years, so for those who stay any longer (like me) the arrangement is nothing less than state-sponsored theft. Since pension provision in the UK is dependent on the tax system, I have long since resigned myself to not actually building one up while out of the country (basically, as a non-UK-taxpayer, there is no point in contributing to one, saving privately is more flexible and efficient) but actually having a substantial sum of money directly taken from my salary and getting nothing in return is rubbing salt in the wound.

According to the above report, the Govt is considering changing the refund system. Not before time.

1 comment:

EliRabett said...

It happens the world over. GB owes me for a year. I got my part back after three years in Germany, but not the employer part. Life sucks