The Magadan City Court met a transport prosecutor's requirements for including the labour experience of six crew members, working on the PAO Magadan Commercial Sea Port fleet, into the special experience as the seafarers worked at the Far North localities from twelve days to five months. One of the court decisions came into effect: three-month experience of a seafarer was included, according to the press office of the Far Eastern Transport Prosecutor's Office.
The conflict began after the crews decided to exercise their lawful right to early pension assignment on the ground they had worked in territories equated to the Far North. However a local office of the Pension Fund refused seafarers to include their experience into the special experience and explained that the territory, where the Magadan Commercial Sea Port were registered, didn't come into this category.
Consequently, the prosecutor joined to resolve the problem. The agency investigated the appeals on abusing of pension rights and came to conclusion that the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation didn't take into account some periods of the seafarers' working at sea. The prosecutor sent the case into the court because the Fund's actions were against the Federal Law on National Guarantees and Compensations for Persons Working and Leaving in the Far North Localities.
The court supported the Russian seafarers. The Pension Fund denied to include the Far North experience several times. So, the same situation happened with 13 workers of OAO Sakhalin Shipping Company and OAO Dalmornefttegeophysica, who asked the Sakhalin Transport Prosecutor's Office for help. Based on the investigation results, the agency sent a case into Kholmsk City Court, where the seafarers' requirements were fully satisfied. Then the Court of Appeal confirmed the decision. Also the Sakhalin Regional Court included the seafarers' working periods, lasting from seven months to three years, into the special experience.
Seaman Alexey Cherepanov became a participant of another case. As for other seafarers, the Pension Fund refused to him to assign the early retirement pension. The sailor took several unsuccessful attempts to prove his right and then asked the SUR's Far Eastern Regional Organization (SUR FERO) for help.
Unlike the Pension Fund, for the union one thing was clear: Alexey undoubtedly had a right to claim for early retirement pension as 28 years of life he had been working on freezer trawlers. Dealing with the Cherepanov's application, the local fund failed to take into account several periods of his working at sea. There were no some archival documents and fund's personnel couldn't indicate a ship's class although there were all ships' names in his employment record book.
Finally, Vasily Savelyev, the lawyer at the SUR FERO, successfully got down to the Cherepanov's case. With the union the sailor filed in the Nakhodka City Court. Following hearing the right was on the seafarer's side. Meanwhile, the Pension Fund was able to appeal the decision within one month from the date of its final adoption, but it didn't.
The Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR) strongly recommends to seafarers to seek help from a transport prosecutor or lawyers and to protect your rights in the same situations thoroughly. Setting the precedents, the Russian Pension Fund eventually will begin to respect the rights of Russians.