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Pension supplement and the rule for substitutes

The rule for pension supplements and substitute workers are only relevant for members who belong to the seagoing service- based scheme.

We receive many inquiries about the pension supplement and the substitute workers’ regulations, and this is often get mixed up. Here we will explain the difference between these two rules.

The pension supplement

The pension supplement is a temporary scheme that was introduced in 2000. This is a income-tested supplement to the ordinary pension between the ages of 60 and 67.

It is a condition for receiving the supplement that you have earned at least 36 seagoing service months (3 years) during the last 60 months (5 years) before the pension is drawn. Furthermore, it is a condition that you have an annual pensionable income that does not exceed twice the basic amount in the Norwegian National Insurance (237.240 from May 2023).

The rationale for the scheme was to give a higher pension to workers at sea who remained in the profession until retirement age, and who would therefore often have no other income than the pension to live on. The introduction of the pension supplement was seen in the context of the fact that large parts of the industry had introduced supplementary tariff-based pension schemes which would only provide a full pension after 30 years. The scheme is therefore temporary, and the supplement is gradually reduced in parallel with the building up of collective pensions in the industry.

The last birth cohort that will be able to receive the pension supplement is people born in 1964.


The rule for substitutes

In the period between the ages of 60 and 62, you cannot receive a pension while working in positions that give you seagoing service months in the Maritime Pension Fund, or on similar boats in other countries. The employment relationship must have ended, and you cannot receive salary, holiday pay, free time compensation or sickness pay from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, during the pensionable period. However, the rule for substitutes gives you the opportunity to work on a limited basis in positions that give you seagoing service months between the ages of 60 and 62. You can work as a substitute worker for 3 months within a 12-month period. Substitute work time includes both working time and paid time off. To invoke the rule for substitutes, you must have at least one month without work at sea, after your period of service has ended. A 12-month period is calculated from the date of retirement and 12 months into the future. After you have reached the age of 62, no such restrictions apply to the right to receive a pension. You can then work as much as you want at sea without losing your pension rights. The rule for substitutes will not be relevant for pensioners in an income-based scheme (the first birth cohort that will receive an income-based pension is people born in 1970, who have pension withdrawals in 2032 at the earliest).