Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Boss has been under cutting my pension payments...

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
David71



Joined: 05 May 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Boss has been under cutting my pension payments... Reply with quote

Hi there,

So I have been in Japan for 4 years, working as an ALT with a small dispatch company, and I am all set to leave in a couple of months.

I have been organising my pension documents as I obviously want to get the refund when I return to Australia, and I notice that my boss has been stating my salary as 210,000 yen rather than 250,000, presumably to lessen his pension payments each month.

My dilemma here is whether it is worth raising this issue before I leave.

Of course, usually I wouldn't hesitate to complain, but in all honesty, this company has been great to me over the years. Supportive, transport paid for, full holiday pay, etc.

I had already figured out that my boss has been over charging me in terms of my monthly rent, but I have always let that slide because I do get a decent bonus at the end of each one year contract. However, I now realise that this over-charging for rent, coupled with the under-paying of his pension obligations each month, has been a way to 'save up' money to enable the 'bonus' at the end of each year.

So in effect, I haven't 'lost' any money throughout the course of my contract, as my bonuses have negated any losses from my boss' dishonesty. But it is annoying now because it has hit me that my pension refund is going to be significantly less than it could/should have been.

Would you risk souring things? Or just put it down to experience? And does anyone know roughly what the difference would be on a pension refund of 210,000 over 3 years, and 250,000 over 3 years? I worked it out to be around 100,000 yen or so.

Thanks for reading.

David
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harp



Joined: 09 Jan 2014
Posts: 40
Location: As far north as you can get, before you hit Saitama

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that's fraud and if not a criminal offence then surely a civil one.

And if he's doing it to you then he'll be doing it to all the other employees (assuming you're not to only dispatch worker he has), which will mean he's saving himself a pile of cash as his company's contribution to the pension will be less.

I'd go and ask him about it and after he's given you his excuse tell him you're off to ask the labour standards office for their opinion. The last thing he'll want is them sniffing around if he is on the take, so he may offer you something, then it becomes a moral choice; take the money or blow the whistle...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David71



Joined: 05 May 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harp wrote:
I'm pretty sure that's fraud and if not a criminal offence then surely a civil one.

And if he's doing it to you then he'll be doing it to all the other employees (assuming you're not to only dispatch worker he has), which will mean he's saving himself a pile of cash as his company's contribution to the pension will be less.

I'd go and ask him about it and after he's given you his excuse tell him you're off to ask the labour standards office for their opinion. The last thing he'll want is them sniffing around if he is on the take, so he may offer you something, then it becomes a moral choice; take the money or blow the whistle...

Thanks for your reply.

I genuinely don't think he has been doing this to save himself a "pile of cash" - there are only 4 ALTs here, and as I mentioned, the bonus at the end of the year covers the money accrued via paying less pension/overcharging on rent.

I believe that a previous ALT did a midnight runner before I came to Japan, and this prompted my boss to look into new ways of enticing employees to stay until the end of their contracts. Hence the 'bonus' payment.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
yurii



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Of course, usually I wouldn't hesitate to complain, but in all honesty, this company has been great to me over the years. Supportive, transport paid for, full holiday pay, etc.


Behind your back they've been stealing from you to give you it back later under the ruse of a bonus to make it seem like the job has an additional perk for staying. So, in effect there is no bonus. They're just holding back money and giving you it if you stay. It's deceptive.

I understand the employer might have been burnt before but that's no excuse to cheat people, if the place is good to work in people will see out their contract surely. Though maybe with the rent many schools do that (?). Were you forced to take on this apartment?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 726
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Boss has been under cutting my pension payments... Reply with quote

It is really hard to know if something illegal has occurred just from the OP's description--it could be something nefarious, or it could be an example of the standard practice seen with many Japanese employers (including most full-time university positions). While something of a pain (as a higher monthly salary could have come in handy on occasion), I receive over 20% of my yearly salary in the form of bonuses--their addition allows me to reach my guaranteed salary total each year.

David71 wrote:

So in effect, I haven't 'lost' any money throughout the course of my contract, as my bonuses have negated any losses from my boss' dishonesty.


So you got all your money then, correct?

David71 wrote:

But it is annoying now because it has hit me that my pension refund is going to be significantly less than it could/should have been.


I'm not sure I follow. You are taxed on the amount paid to you over the course of a year. As your bonuses are normally considered part of your yearly salary totals, they should have been taxed accordingly...and thus be part of the pension refund too.

Unless, of course, these bonuses were simply cash payments handed to you under the table, which would be illegal. (Though I'd then argue that this was in some ways to your advantage, as you didn't have to pay taxes on these payments and so got more money upfront...yes?)

Harp's suggestion that you contact the labour standards office for their opinion is a good one. My only concern would be if you had indeed received untaxed bonuses, as you might get asked to pay up on the unpaid taxes--most of which would then be refunded back to you...eventually.

If you have indeed gotten all the money promised, it might be best just to take it and leave. My two yen, anyway.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
now_or_never



Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what you mean. Are the deductions taken from your salary more than those registered with the pensions office? Or, has he just been taking pension contributions from your salary based on a 210,000 yen salary?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David71



Joined: 05 May 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

now_or_never wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean. Are the deductions taken from your salary more than those registered with the pensions office? Or, has he just been taking pension contributions from your salary based on a 210,000 yen salary?

The latter.

I have never paid much attention to the yearly pension receipts until now, and so I have only just noticed that in them, my salary is stated as "210,000 yen per month" rather than "250,000 per month".

Obviously this has meant my own pension contributions have been slightly less over the years, but also my boss' as well.

Good for him. Good for me at the time.

But not now that I am applying for a refund.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David71



Joined: 05 May 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:12 am    Post subject: Re: Boss has been under cutting my pension payments... Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:

So you got all your money then, correct?

I don't know exactly of course, but I don't believe that I have lost out too much in terms of getting an average payment of 250,000 over the year, taking into account the bonus. My point is that this 'bonus' was supposed to be just that, a bonus. Not a way of making up my salary to what it was supposed to be in the first place!

taikibansei wrote:

I'm not sure I follow. You are taxed on the amount paid to you over the course of a year. As your bonuses are normally considered part of your yearly salary totals, they should have been taxed accordingly...and thus be part of the pension refund too.

Unless, of course, these bonuses were simply cash payments handed to you under the table, which would be illegal. (Though I'd then argue that this was in some ways to your advantage, as you didn't have to pay taxes on these payments and so got more money upfront...yes?)

Thanks for this clarification, you are right. The bonus is paid into my account "under the table," so yes I can see how that would be to my advantage.

taikibansei wrote:
Harp's suggestion that you contact the labour standards office for their opinion is a good one. My only concern would be if you had indeed received untaxed bonuses, as you might get asked to pay up on the unpaid taxes--most of which would then be refunded back to you...eventually.

If you have indeed gotten all the money promised, it might be best just to take it and leave. My two yen, anyway.

Contacting the labour standards office is not something I am considering.

As I have said, I believe that over the 3 years in which I am eligible to get my pension refunded, I would be due something like 100,000 yen extra in terms of lost payments from my boss' pension contributions.

I would be a lot more inclined to take this further if I hadn't received significant bonuses over the years, e.g. my boss could have paid less into my pension, and not even mentioned any bonuses, which would have left me a lot more out of pocket over the years.

Add to this the fact that I intend to return to Japan in the future, and potential employers will no doubt contact him for a reference, then I have pretty much decided that I am going to leave this issue. Kicking up a fuss may get me some extra cash, but it could be at a greater cost further down the road.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
now_or_never



Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David71 wrote:


I have never paid much attention to the yearly pension receipts until now, and so I have only just noticed that in them, my salary is stated as "210,000 yen per month" rather than "250,000 per month".

Obviously this has meant my own pension contributions have been slightly less over the years, but also my boss' as well.



You can't get a refund for money that you never put in. At the end of the day, you'll be no worse off. Have you asked your boss about this? There may be an innocent explanation. Payments are based on your yearly salary divided by 12, so any months with lower pay will bring the average down. Or perhaps part of your renumeration was made up of allowances.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
timothypfox



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the amount in question is possibly 100,000 yen less than expected it is not terribly big. I would honestly only pursue this if you decided to remain in Japan. Resolving this could take time, and the boss could get sticky with you about "not" cleaning the apartment properly and Donald Trump up the charges on the cleaning charge you have to pay. (Not sure if your arrangement is that you have to clean up after yourself or not - but it is common practice for landlords to charge a fee that they set after looking over the place as to what you "owe" for cleaning and minor repairs.) Just my two thoughts - unless you are strongly driven by social justice...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you account for this 40,000-yen difference in salary? Does he pay you a basic salary of 210,000-yen, then have 40,000-yen of allowances on top? Deductions are probably based just on your basic salary, not allowances.

If there is nothing in your contract along those lines, then he's breached the contract and violated labor law, not to mention been unethical in not informing you about what he was doing.

If I were in your shoes, and you say you haven't lost any money overall, I would probably let it drop, especially for the sake of being able to get a reference. Having said that, I think it would leave a sour taste in my mouth, having been strung along and lied to like that, and I don't know that I'd want to work for them again.

If you're no better or worse off overall though, I'm not too sure why he wasn't straight up with you about it. It's not as if you were losing out.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2016 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China