Social security agreement between Sweden and Japan

Sweden and Japan have agreed on entering into a social security agreement to coordinate the social security coverage for individuals working or living in both Sweden and Japan. The agreement will enhance the safety for employees and their family members moving between the two countries. It will also facilitate for Swedish companies doing business with Japan.

The agreement was signed by both countries on 11 April 2019 and aims to coordinate pension benefits such as general old age pension, survivors pension and disability compensation. Since the agreement coordinates the Japanese and Swedish regulations it will secure that an individual keeps its social security rights and pension rights when moving between the countries. The employer is also only obligated to pay social security fees in one of the countries.

Family members accompanying the employee to one of the countries will also remain covered by the home country social security scheme during the same period, unless the family members also will perform work.

Furthermore, the agreement will enable for employees to establish eligibility to receive pension benefits by totalizing the periods of the coverage of both countries, making it easier for an individual to fulfill requirements to receive benefits when working in both countries.

From a Swedish perspective the agreement should make it easier for a Swedish individual working in Japan to receive Japanese pension in Sweden, as it should hereafter be possible for someone who has been covered by the Japanese pension scheme to receive Japanese pension payments when living in Sweden. Before the agreement enters into force, a Swedish resident needs to work in Japan for at least 10 years to be able to receive Japanese pension payments in Sweden. Posted workers can, through the agreement, remain covered by the social security system of their home country up to a period of 5 years. For an employer this could result in changed payroll taxes.

The agreement also facilitates for Swedish companies doing business in Japan.

It is expected that the conclusion of the agreement will reduce the burden imposed on companies and employees, thereby further facilitating people-to-people and economic exchanges between Sweden and Japan.

Even though the agreement has been signed, it must be approved by each country before it can enter into force. For Sweden, this means that a bill will be submitted to the Swedish Parliament.

If you have questions on how this agreement might affect you as an individual or employer, do not hesitate to contact us.

More information can be found here.

Karolina Engström

You may also want to read our newer article, The social security agreement between Sweden and Japan, from 2021.


Karolina Engström
+46 76 853 23 78