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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case NO-2020-12/714 Updated – measures in Norway

Temporary exemption from pension reduction for health professionals

Tidsbegrenset unntak fra avkorting i pensjon for helsepersonell

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 17 March 2020 – 01 January 2022
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Mobilisation of a larger workforce
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Case created 17 April 2020 (updated 18 October 2021)

Background information

In connection with the outbreak of coronavirus the government wanted to facilitate mobilisation of qualified and necessary personnel to work in the public health sector. Old-age pensioners with qualifications were regarded as a target group. The government proposed a change in the regulation of pension schemes to prevent that mobilised personnel will experience loss of pension when they receive labour income. The regulation suspends some of the public pension scheme rules on specified terms for a limited period.

Content of measure

The current rules on the reduction and termination of pensions in connection with employment income are clear and absolute in their form, so that any exceptions in general should be limited and well justified. In a pandemic situation, the overall purpose is that the public health service maintains necessary health care. In order to realize this purpose, the Ministry proposes that income from voluntary work in public health services or with private persons who, according to law or agreement, offer health services to the population, should not, however, result in a reduction or loss of pension. To prevent pension reduction for health professionals taking on extra work during the crisis connected to COVID-19, amendments to three pension scheme regulations were passed. The measure cover health and social standby and service, and the regulations comprise The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, pension fund for nurses and pension fund for employees in pharmacies. The measure will not require any specific funding.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 April 2021

On 30 April 2021, the Ministry proposed a further extension to 1 January 2022. The employers' association Spekter had on behalf of the health enterprises requested that the exemption should be extended, due to a demanding upcoming holiday season. The Ministry of Health and Care acknowledge this and proposed that the exemption be extended for the rest of the year 2021. The supply of foreign health personnel was expected to be unsure, the Ministry argued, and a lot of healthcare professionals who have been in a demanding situation for several months, will need a vacation. The parliament extended the regulation until 1 January 2022.

05 October 2020

In October 2020, the time-limited exemption from the reduction rules for old-age pensions from the Government Pension Fund, the Pension Scheme for Pharmacy and the Pension Scheme for Nurses was extended to 1 July 2021 as a result of COVID-19.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Workers in care facilities
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

The social partners have been in dialogue with the government concerning the regulation, and in the spring 2020, the employers' association Spekter requested on behalf of the health enterprises that the regulation should be extended, due to a demanding upcoming holiday season. The regulation was then extended.

Views and reactions

Social partners have been consulted regularly during design and implementation of the measure.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      Q87 Residential care activities
      Q88 Social work activities without accommodation
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health professionals

Sources

  • 13 March 2020: Prop. 53 LS (2019–2020) Endringer i skatteloven og skattebetalingsloven mv. (økonomiske tiltak i møte med virusutbruddet) (www.regjeringen.no)
  • 17 April 2020: Tidsbegrenset unntak fra avkorting i pensjon for helsepersonell (www.regjeringen.no)
  • 05 October 2020: Proposition from the governement - October 2020 (www.regjeringen.no)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Temporary exemption from pension reduction for health professionals, case NO-2020-12/714 (measures in Norway), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.