Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See
Regionaldirektion Nord
Millerntorplatz 1
20359 Hamburg

Seemannskasse

Phone: +49 40 30 388-0
Fax: +49 40 30 388-19 77



Webcode for this Content: 16229391

Benefits

The „seafarer’s pension“: bridging allowance from the seafarer’s special fund

The main benefit of the seafarer’s special fund is the bridging allowance, also known as „seafarer’s pension“. The bridging allowance due at the age of 56 is paid in the same amount as a regular old-age pension, however without supplementary periods and periods pursuant to international and supra-national law taken into account. It is calculated on the basis of the insurance account in the German statutory pension insurance as it stands at the start of the payment of the bridging allowance. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have the pension insurance account settled as soon as possible and to assist the Knappschaft-Bahn-See (KBS) in their efforts in this respect.

Overview: preconditions for the bridging allowance

The bridging allowance due at the age of 56 is paid, if the following preconditions are fulfilled:

 

Bridging allowance after the age of 56

Difference in balance

Deduction compenstation

Lump sums

Benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age

Reaching the age of 56

X

X

X

   
Retirement from sea service

X

X

X

X

X

No Entitlement to pension

X

X

     

Special insurance law requirements are met

X

X

X

X

X

Completition of the qualifying period

X

X

X

X

X

Filling of application

X

X

X

X

X

No Entitlement to unemployment benefit I

X

       
No temporary briding allowance

X

X

X

X

X

Entitlement to continious deduction compensation

     

X

 

Reaching the standard minimum pensionable age

     

X

X

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Reaching the age of 56

The bridging allowance and supplementary assistance can earliest be received at the age of 56.

In general, the compensation for a pension deduction is paid to supplement an old-age pension which is reduced by deductions due to early retirement, i.e. earliest from the age of 60.

If a reduced earning capacity pension is paid, from which deductions are made due to early drawing, the compensation is paid earliest at the age of 56. Benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age are paid earliest from the standard minimum pensionable age as applicable to the insured individual.

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Retirement from sea service

Benefits are only paid after retirement from employment in the German or foreign seafaring industry. The date of retirement from sea service is marked by the end of the last employment in seafaring, with any remaining entitlements to leave taken into account.

Later periods of unemployment or illness are irrelevant to the end of employment. A once established end of employment remains valid even in case of renewed employment in the seafaring industry.

The general entitlement to benefits remains unaffected. The benefits are however postponed during the new employment in the seafaring industry and will be resumed when it has ended.

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Entitlement to pension

The bridging allowance can only be paid, if and as long as no entitlement to a full reduced earning capacity pension or to a full standard old-age pension (even with deductions) exists.

If one of these pensions is not claimed, even though it could be, the entitlement to a bridging allowance no longer exists. In such case a separate decision will be taken on a possible payment of a deduction compensation.

The benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age are also granted while a full old-age pension is drawn. They are calculated, similar to the bridging allowance (56 years of age), in the same way as a standard old-age pension. The amount is however limited to 50 per cent. The calculation is based on the individual standard minimum pensionable age.

The benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age are on principle only granted for not more than 24 months, with periods of renewed employment in the seafaring industry excluded.

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Special insurance law requirements

The special insurance law requirements are fulfilled, if at least 108 months of employment in the German seafaring industry (including high-sea and coastal fishing) or of self-employment as coastal mariner/ fisherman are reached after the month of completing the age of 37.

The relevant point in time (completing the age of 37) is moved forward by periods of unemployment, if these are considered in the pension insurance as periods of contribution payment or as periods for allocation and are experienced at an age of at least 50 years.

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Qualifying period

The qualifying period is complete after 240 calendar months (20 years) of qualifying sea service.

Qualifying sea service comprises periods of compulsory insured employment in the seafaring industry or self-employment as coastal mariner/ fisherman according to the statutes of the seafarer’s special fund.

Not considered for the qualifying period are periods of voluntary contributions to the statutory pension insurance, periods for allocation, i.e. e.g. periods of education (also at nautical colleges), illness, unemployment and child raising) as well as periods of contribution payment due to drawing of unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, injury benefits or transitional allowance, even if they follow directly to periods of sea service.

Sea service on foreign flagged ships, which are not covered by statutory insurance according to the fund’s statutes, is also irrelevant in respect of the qualifying period.

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Entitlement to unemployment benefit I

No bridging allowance can be paid, if an entitlement to unemployment benefits exists or unemployment benefit I is not paid because it has not been applied for, no registration as unemployed has been made or an entitlement to sickness benefits instead of unemployment benefit I exists.

Availability for the labour market

Entitlement to unemployment benefits is lost, if the unemployed person does not avail himself of all opportunities for vocational integration or does not fully cooperate in placement attempts of the employment agency. Availability of the unemployed person must neither be restricted with regard to the kind of employment nor to its duration. Seafarers’ availability is however not regarded as being restricted, if their continuation of sea service is no longer reasonable. This can be caused by health problems, but also by private circumstances such as marriage, marital crisis or difficulties in child raising. It is therefore important to point out such reasons when applying for unemployment benefit I.

The application for employment at the responsible employment agency must be periodically renewed at intervals not exceeding three months, either in person, in writing or by phone.

Stay abroad

If an entitlement for unemployment benefit I exists, it can be drawn up to three months in another member state of the European Union, of the European Economic Area (EEA) or in Switzerland for job seeking purposes (transfer of entitlement). Drawing of such benefit requires proof of entitlement to the responsible unemployment agency abroad by means of form E303. This form has to be applied for at the responsible German employment agency before going abroad.

Reliable information in this regard is available only at the responsible employment agency.

Member states of the European Union and of the European Economic Area

Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Principality of Liechtenstein, Greece, United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Italia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus.

The same provisions with regard to unemployment benefit I have also been agreed with Switzerland.

Duration and amount of unemployment benefit

As long as an entitlement to unemployment benefit I exists it has to be fully realized. Therefore, the responsible employment agency should be contacted first, especially as unemployment benefit I is normally higher than the bridging allowance. As employment ashore is no obstacle to payment of a bridging allowance there is no reason to quit or to reject an offer for such employment.

Unemployment benefit I put on hold / periods of exclusion

The entitlement to unemployment benefit I is put on hold, if the previous employment was quit by the employee. During such period of exclusion a bridging allowance is paid by the seafarer’s special fund. The entitlement to unemployment benefit I is also put on hold, if the previous employment ended prior to the agreed period of notice with payment of compensation. A bridging allowance is paid for this period of exclusion, if the relevant confirmation by the unemployment agency is submitted.

No bridging allowance is paid during periods of exclusion imposed due to other reasons, e.g. delayed registering as unemployed, payment of wages beyond the duration of the employment or compensation for leave (payment for unclaimed holidays). In the last two cases the date of retirement from sea service is marked by the end of payment of wages or of the unclaimed holidays.

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Temporary bridging allowance

The seafarer’s special fund grants no further benefits, if an entitlement to temporary bridging allowance has already existed in the past.

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Benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age

The benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age calculated, similar to the bridging allowance (56 years of age), in the same way as a standard old-age pension. The amount is however limited to 50 per cent. The calculation is based on the individual standard minimum pensionable age.

The benefits paid after reaching the standard minimum pensionable age are on principle only granted for not more than 24 months, with periods of renewed employment in the seafaring industry excluded.

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