1. Legal Framework
The legal framework for social security is derived primarily from the National Insurance Act of 1997.
2. Required Contributions
Persons who work or are residents in Norway are, as a rule, obliged to be members of and to pay contributions to the Social Security Scheme. Employers have to pay social security contributions on wages and other remuneration that the employers have to report. The obligation to pay employer’s social security contributions does not follow the membership of the employee and can apply even if the employer is not engaged in activity in Norway and even if the employee is not liable to pay taxes in Norway.
The National Insurance Scheme covers a range of benefits including sick pay, work assessment allowance, disability pension, unemployment benefits, retirement pensions, survivor’s pension, occupational injury benefits, healthcare allowance, benefits to single parents and benefits during pregnancy, birth, adoption and parental leave.
4. Required Maternity/Sickness/Disability/Annual Leaves
Maternity leave, including compensation, lasts for a maximum of 59 weeks. 3 weeks before the birth and the first 6 weeks after birth are reserved for the mother, and are compulsory. 10 weeks are reserved for the father. If the father does not utilize the father’s quota, the benefit period will be shortened accordingly as the quota may not be transferred to the mother. The remaining period may be shared by the parents, in any way they see fit.
Employees have the right to compensation during maternity and paternity leave. The compensation is either 80 percent of the salary for 59 weeks or 100 percent for 49 weeks. In addition, parents have the right to take a leave of absence for an additional year without compensation.
5. Mandatory and Typically Provided Pensions
Retirement pensions are divided into 3 levels: retirement pensions from the National Insurance Scheme, mandatory occupational pensions and private savings.
Retirement pensions from the National Insurance Scheme ensure an income in old age. Drawing from a retirement pension can be started the month after a person turns 62, as long as sufficient pension rights have been accumulated.
In addition, employers must provide mandatory occupational pensions. Therefore, at least 2 percent of an employee’s gross income is paid into pension funds.
Level 3 refers to private savings irrespective of employment and the Norwegian pension scheme.