Seafarers right to early pension assignment recovered

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.