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PR(06)59:The EFTA Surveillance Authority brings Norway before the EFTA Court regarding the rules concerning the calculation of survivor’s pension


The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today to bring Norway before the EFTA Court  due to discrimination between men and women with regard to the calculation of survivor’s pensions.

The EEA Agreement requires that the EFTA States shall ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. Pensions are considered pay in this respect.

According to the Public Service Pension Act (Lov om Statens Pensjonskasse), widows, whose deceased spouses became members of the Public Service Pension Fund before 1 October 1976, receive a survivor’s pension without curtailment regardless of whether they receive an own pension or have other income. By contrast, a survivor’s pension for widowers, may in identical situations be subject to curtailment if the widower has an own pension or other income. Consequently, widowers are treated less favourably in comparison to widows.

Equal treatment with regard to pensions can, in the case of Norway, be claimed only in relation to a pension accrued on the basis of periods of employment after 1 January 1994, which is the date of entry into force of the EEA Agreement. Thus, the Authority contests the Norwegian rules only insofar as it affects pension rights accrued after that date.


For further information, please contact:
Mr. Niels Fenger
Director, Legal & Executive Affairs Department
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30


13 December 2006

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