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Early retirement

Your seaman’s pension is a pension you receive in addition to any state pension to which you may be entitled before the age of 67.

Pension

Retirement age

The retirement age under this scheme is usually 60. To qualify for your pension from the age of 60, you must have accrued a minimum of 120 months of seagoing service after the age of 40. Your retirement age increases by one month for every two months you are short of having accrued 120 months after your 40th birthday. Further information about deferred retirement age

Stopping work at sea

To qualify for a seaman’s pension before the age of 62, you must have stopped working at sea. You cannot work on foreign ships either. Your employment must be at an end and you cannot be in receipt of a salary, holiday allowance, additional compensation or sickness benefit from the state for any illness that has arisen during the pension accrual period.

When you have reached the age of 62, no such limitations exist to your right to receive a seaman’s pension. You will then be free to work as much as you want at sea without losing your right to your seaman’s pension.

Minimum seagoing service requirement

You must have a minimum of 150 months of pensionable seagoing service in order to qualify for a seaman’s pension.

Calculation of the seaman’s pension

Your annual pension payments are calculated by multiplying the number of months of seagoing service with the pension rates applicable on the date that payment of your pension commences. Different pension rates apply for service accrued in group 1 or in group 2 positions. Your pension will be calculated on the basis of a maximum of 360 months of seagoing service.

Means-tested supplementary pension payment

If you have accrued seagoing service for three of the past five years before your pension commences, you may be entitled to a supplementary pension payment. To qualify for this supplementary payment, it is also a requirement that you do not have an annual pensionable income that exceeds twice the National Insurance scheme basic amount. The supplementary pension payment is not entitled to anyone who takes out a reduced seaman’s pension before the age of 60 even if conditions for receiving the supplementary payment have otherwise been met.

Expiry of seaman’s pension

The seaman’s pension expires on your 67th birthday or from the date you receive work assessment allowance, 100% disability pension or 100% public sector contractual pension (AFP).

Seaman’s pension between the ages of 55 and 67

If the sum of your age and seagoing service is 80 years or more, and you have stopped working at sea, you will be able to apply for a pension up to five years before your 60th birthday. The pension is reduced by 0.7% for each month you take out your pension before the age of 60. If, for example, you take out your pension when you are 55, your pension will be reduced by 42%. This reduction applies as long as you receive a pension from us. You cannot qualify for a supplementary pension payment if you take out a reduced pension.

You cannot apply to receive a reduced pension retrospectively more than three months before the date of application. To qualify for a reduced pension, you must have accrued a minimum of 120 months of seagoing service after the age of 40.

Widow’s pension

To qualify for a widow’s pension, your spouse must have been a retired seaman with a war service supplement as part of his seaman’s pension. Your right to a widow’s pension lapses if you remarry.

Apply for a pension

Applications for refunds are submitted in the same way as applications for pensions. Log into the members’ portal and click on the pension tab. To log into the members’ portal:

Click here

Q&A

What happens if I do not apply?

You may lose your rights to a pension if you do not apply. Pensions can be paid retrospectively for a maximum period of three years.

How big is the refund?

The refund constitutes two thirds of an annual pension calculated on the basis of the pensionable months of seagoing service that have been accrued.

How do I qualify for a refund of my contributions?

If you have accrued pensionable seagoing service of between 36 and 149 months, you may in certain circumstances be entitled to a refund of your contributions when you reach retirement age. You do not qualify for a refund of contributions if you are receiving 100% disability benefits, work assessment allowance or public contractual pension (AFP) when you retire.

What is the supplementary pension payment?

A payment supplementary to the standard seaman’s pension is available if you are aged between 60 and 67. To qualify for the supplementary payment, you must have accrued a minimum of 36 months of pensionable seagoing service in the past 60 months before you start to take out your pension (retirement date) or before you reach retirement age. Only seagoing service for which pension contributions have been made will count. It is also a requirement that you do not have an annual pensionable income that exceeds twice the National Insurance Scheme basic amount. The supplementary pension payment is not entitled to anyone who takes out a reduced seaman’s pension before the age of 60 even if conditions for receiving the supplementary payment have otherwise been met.

Do I receive a pension if I am/become disabled?

This depends on whether you are fully or partially disabled. No seaman’s pension is payable if the seaman at retirement age is in receipt of full disability benefits according to rules on the National Insurance Scheme or full contractual pension (AFP). The same rules apply to refund of premiums. If you are receiving a reduced disability pension from the National  Insurance Scheme or a reduced contractual pension (AFP), you may be entitled a proportional share of the seaman’s pension.

What is deferred retirement?

For seamen who commenced their seagoing service after 1968, a deferred retirement between the age of 60 and 65 applies depending on how many months have been accrued after the age of 40.

How old do I have to be to qualify for a seaman’s pension?

Usually 60. Before the age of 62, it is a requirement that you must have ended your employment at sea. The issue of deferred retirement must also be taken into account.

Is national service pensionable?

No, but national service before 1981 may count towards the minimum pension requirement (150 months of seagoing service). National service must have been commenced within six months after expiry of a pensionable period or maritime training.

Do I accrue pension for employment on a foreign vessel?

Yes, if the vessel was part of a separate agreement until 30 April 1993 and you paid contributions for the period. After 1 May 1993, you accrue pension for service on foreign vessels for a Norwegian employer if contributions were paid for that period. Yes, if after 1 May 1993 you have been a voluntary member during your service on a foreign vessel for a foreign employer.

Are fishermen covered by the scheme?

No. On fishing vessels with a gross tonnage of more than 100 tonnes, only employees in seaman’s positions are covered. Fishermen are covered by their own pension insurance which is managed by the Norwegian Guarantee Fund for Fishermen.

Do I accrue pension for an employment period on a vessel registered in another EEA country?

Such an employment period is not pensionable, but the period spent on a vessel from another EEA country counts towards the minimum pension requirement (150 months of seagoing service). We will find out whether you are entitled to pension from the country in which the vessel is registered when you have submitted the documentation for this employment period when you apply for your pension from the Pension Insurance for Seamen.

Who is covered by the pension insurance scheme for seamen?

The pension insurance scheme covers

  • Norwegian nationals
  • foreign nationals permanently residing in Norway and registered with the National Registry
  • nationals of other EEA countries (but no earlier than from 1 January 1994)
  • third country nationals who are resident in another Nordic country (but no earlier than from 1 September 2004)

who are employees on vessels covered by the scheme.

How long does my seagoing service have to be before I qualify for a pension?

You must normally have a minimum of 150 months of seagoing service to qualify for a seaman’s pension. If you have between 12 and 149 months of seagoing service, you will be able to add certain types of external seagoing service to meet the minimum requirement:

  • Seagoing service from the Norwegian Guarantee Fund for Fishermen
  • Service under another public service pension scheme (e.g. the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund) applicable to accrual of service on maritime vessels
  • National service completed before 1981 if your service commenced within six months of the expiry of pensionable service or maritime training
  • Service on other EU/EEA-country vessels according to the provisions of the Agreement on the European Economic Area

Your external seagoing service is not included in the basis for calculation of the size of your pension.

 
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