Claiming Retirement Benefits

Sample Cases


All unpaid retirement benefits recovered by labor tribunal

Case of Client B

Client B was working in transportation at Company Y for 10 years, and had decided to leave the company following an argument about work with the president of the company.
Client B requested for Company Y to pay 1.8 million yen in retirement benefits in accordance with the retirement benefit regulations.
The president refused to pay the requested benefits, claiming that the money intended for his retirement benefits would instead be used to offset damages Client B had caused to the company.

Settlement reached to recover the full 1.8 million yen in retirement benefits and withdrawal of claims for damages

Client B contacted us and requested for an attorney to claim retirement benefits from Company Y.
We sent certified mail to Company Y and requested for the company to immediately pay retirement benefits to Client B, stating that the response of the company was in violation of the Labor Standards Act.
However, Company Y ignored this and stubbornly refused payment over telephone calls with our attorney.
The attorney determined that no progress could be made, and filed for a labor tribunal.
At the tribunal a settlement was reached where Company Y would pay Client B the full sum of retirement benefits and would not claim any damages from Client B. At a later date, Client B received the full sum of their retirement benefits.

Key Points

The company's threat to use retirement benefits to offset damages incurred is in violation of the principle of the payment of wages (Article 24 (1) of the Labor Standards Act).
(Supreme court judgment in the Nihonkangyokeizaikai case on May 31, 1961; Supreme Court Civil Cases Casebook Volume 5 Number 5 Page 1482)
Therefore, if a company is to claim damages from an employee who is leaving the company, it must first pay the full sum of retirement benefits then file a claim for damages separately (the amounts may be offset in some cases if the employee has agreed to do so, it is important to not sign or stamp any documentation regarding this).
Even if damages are caused to the company as a result of employee error, this does not necessarily mean that the employee is responsible for compensation.
Furthermore, even if the employee is found to be liable, this does not mean that the employee must pay the full amount of damages.
When an employee in a vulnerable position is threatened with legal action or a claim for damages, it is common for that employee to go along with whatever the company demands.
We recommend that you remain calm and ask an attorney for advice on whether the claims of the company are legitimate.

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