U.S.-Norwegian Social Security Agreement

Agreement and administrative arrangement both signed at Oslo November 30, 2001.
Entry into force September 1, 2003. Replaced an earlier U.S.-Norwegian agreement which entered into force July 1, 1984.

Norsk

Contents

Principal Agreement
Part I - Definitions and Laws
Part II - General Provisions
Part III - Provisions on Coverage
Part IV - Provisions on Benefits
Part V - Miscellaneous Provisions
Part VI - Transitional and Final Provisions
Administrative Arrangement
 


AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY
ON SOCIAL SECURITY

 

The Government of the United States of America and

The Government of the Kingdom of Norway,

BEING DESIROUS of regulating the relationship between their two countries in the field of Social Security, have agreed as follows:

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PART I

Definitions and Laws

ARTICLE 1

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For the purpose of this Agreement:

  1. "Territory" means, as regards the United States, the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, and as regards Norway, the territory of the Kingdom of Norway;

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  2. "Norwegian Continental Shelf"means the sea bed and its subsoil of the submarine areas outside the coast of the Kingdom of Norway over which Norway has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources;

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  3. "National" means, as regards the United States, a national of the United States as defined in Section 101, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, and as regards Norway, a person of Norwegian nationality;

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  4. "Laws" means the laws and regulations specified in Article 2;

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  5. "Competent Authority" means, as regards the United States, the Commissioner of Social Security, and as regards Norway, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs;

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  6. "Agency" means, as regards the United States, the Social Security Administration, and as regards Norway, the office or authority responsible for applying all or part of the laws designated in Article 2;

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  7. "Period of coverage" means a period of payment of contributions or a period of earnings from employment or self-employment, as defined or recognized as a period of coverage by the laws under which such period has been completed, or any similar period insofar as it is recognized by such laws as equivalent to a period of coverage;

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  8. "Benefit" means any benefit provided for in the laws of either Contracting State;

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  9. "Stateless person" means a person defined as a stateless person in Article 1 of the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons dated September 28, 1954;

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  10. "Refugee" means a person defined as a refugee in Article 1 of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees dated July 28, 1951, and the Protocol to that Convention dated January 31, 1967.

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ARTICLE 2

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the applicable laws are:

    1. As regards the United States, the laws governing the Federal old-age, survivors and disability insurance program:
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      1. Title II of the Social Security Act and regulations pertaining thereto except sections 226, 226A and 228 of that title and regulations pertaining to those sections,


      2. Chapter 2 and Chapter 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and regulations pertaining to those chapters;


    3. As regards Norway:

      The National Insurance Act of 28 February 1997, except chapters 4, 5, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 15, unless otherwise provided in Part III.

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  2. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, laws within the meaning of paragraph 1 shall not include treaties or other international agreements concluded between one Contracting State and a third State, or laws or regulations promulgated for their specific implementation.

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PART II

General Provisions

ARTICLE 3

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This Agreement, unless it provides otherwise, shall apply to:

    1. nationals of either Contracting State,


    2. refugees,


    3. stateless persons,


    4. other persons with respect to the rights they derive from a national of either Contracting State, a refugee or a stateless person, and


    5. nationals of a State other than a Contracting State who are not included among the persons referred to in paragraph (d) of this Article, and who are or have been subject to the laws of a Contracting State.

ARTICLE 4

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  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the persons designated in Article 3 (a), (b), (c) or (d) who reside in the territory of either Contracting State shall, in the application of the laws of a Contracting State, receive equal treatment with the nationals of that Contracting State.

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  2. Nationals of a Contracting State who reside outside the territories of both Contracting States shall receive benefits provided by the laws of the other Contracting State under the same conditions which the other Contracting State applies to its own nationals who reside outside the territories of both Contracting States.

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  3. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the laws of a Contracting State under which entitlement to or payment of cash benefits is dependent on residence or presence in the territory of that Contracting State shall not be applicable to the persons designated in Article 3 who reside in the territory of the other Contracting State.
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  5. This Article shall be applied by the United States in a manner consistent with Section 233(c)(4) of the United States Social Security Act.
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PART III

Provisions on Coverage

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ARTICLE 5

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  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Article, a person employed within the territory of one of the Contracting States shall with respect to that employment be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only that Contracting State.
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  3. (a) If a person in the service of an employer having a place of business in the territory of one Contracting State is sent by that employer to the territory of the other Contracting State for a temporary period, the person shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the first Contracting State as if he were still employed in the territory of the first Contracting State, provided that his employment in the territory of the other Contracting State is not expected to last for more than 5 years. The spouse and children who accompany a person sent by an employer located in the territory of one Contracting State to the territory of the other Contracting State shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the first Contracting State for any period in which they are not employed in the other Contracting State.
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    (b) For purposes of applying this paragraph in the case of an employee who is sent from the territory of the United States by an employer in that territory to the territory of Norway, that employer and an affiliated company of the employer (as defined under the laws of the United States) shall be considered one and the same, provided that the employment would have been covered under United States laws absent this Agreement.

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    (c) This paragraph shall not apply in the case of a person who is sent from the territory of Norway to the territory of the United States unless the person is on a Norwegian payroll as determined by Norwegian legislation.

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    (d) This paragraph shall also apply in cases where a person is employed in the territory of a third State, but compulsorily covered under the laws of one of the Contracting States, and is then sent by his employer to the territory of the other Contracting State.

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    (e) This paragraph shall also apply in cases where a national of a State other than a Contracting State is sent by an employer in the territory of one Contracting State to the territory of the other Contracting State, provided that its application does not conflict with any provision of another treaty or international agreement between a Contracting State and a third State.

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    (f) With respect to this paragraph, a person who is sent by an employer having a place of business in the territory of Norway to the territory of the United States shall be subject to Norwegian laws, including those chapters of the National Insurance Act excepted from the scope of this Agreement in Article 2.1 (b).

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    (g) With respect to this paragraph, a person who is sent by an employer having a place of business in the territory of the United States to the territory of Norway and who is subject to United States laws shall also be excluded from coverage and exempt, together with the employer, from contributions under all chapters of the National Insurance Act except Chapters 5, 8, 9 and 14.

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  5. (a) The provisions of paragraph 1 shall also apply in cases where a person is resident in Norway and employed on installations for the exploration or exploitation of natural resources on the Norwegian continental shelf.
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    (b) The provisions of paragraph 2 shall also apply in cases where a person is employed on installations for the exploration or exploitation of natural resources on the Norwegian continental shelf as if he were employed in the territory of Norway.

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    (c) A United States national not resident in Norway, employed on an installation for the exploration or exploitation of natural resources on the Norwegian continental shelf, to whom the provisions of paragraph 2 do not apply, and who is subject to United States laws with respect to that employment shall be exempt from Norwegian laws as defined in Article 2.1 (b) and remain subject to United States laws.

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  7. A person who is self-employed in the territory of either Contracting State and who is a resident of one Contracting State shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the Contracting State of which he is a resident.
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  9. (a) This Agreement shall not affect the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, or of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963.
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    (b) Nationals of one of the Contracting States who are employed by the Government of that Contracting State in the territory of the other Contracting State but who are not exempt from the laws of the other Contracting State by virtue of the Conventions mentioned in subparagraph (a) shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the first Contracting State. For the purpose of this paragraph, employment by the United States Government includes employment by an instrumentality thereof.

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  11. If a person is employed as an officer or member of a crew on a vessel which flies the flag of one Contracting State and is subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of both Contracting States, the person shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the Contracting State whose flag the vessel flies. With respect to this paragraph, a vessel which flies the flag of the United States is one defined as an American vessel under the laws of the United States.
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  13. This Agreement does not affect the right of Norwegian nationals who are resident or present in the United States to apply for voluntary insurance under the National Insurance Scheme of Norway.
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  15. After the entry into force of this Agreement, the provisions of Section 2-13 of the Norwegian National Insurance Act concerning exemptions from the National Insurance Scheme shall no longer be applied to persons to whom this Agreement is applicable.

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  17. The Competent Authority of one Contracting State may grant an exception to the provisions of this Article if the Competent Authority of the other Contracting State agrees, provided that the affected person shall be subject to the laws of one of the Contracting States.

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PART IV


Provisions on Benefits

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CHAPTER I--Provisions Applicable to the United States

ARTICLE 6

  1. Where a person has completed at least six quarters of coverage under United States laws, but does not have sufficient quarters of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to benefits under United States laws, pension point years completed under Norwegian laws shall be taken into account to the extent they do not coincide with calendar quarters already credited as quarters of coverage under United States laws.
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  3. In determining eligibility for benefits under paragraph 1 of this Article, the agency of the United States shall credit four quarters of coverage for each pension point year certified as creditable by the agency of Norway; however, no quarter of coverage shall be credited for any calendar quarter already credited as a quarter of coverage under United States laws. The total number of quarters of coverage to be credited for a year shall not exceed four.
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  5. Entitlement to a benefit from the United States which results from paragraph 1 shall terminate with the acquisition of sufficient periods of coverage under United States laws to establish entitlement to an equal or higher benefit without the need to invoke the provision of paragraph 1.

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  6. Where entitlement to a benefit under United States laws is established according to the provisions of paragraph 1, the agency of the United States shall compute a pro rata Primary Insurance Amount in accordance with United States laws based on (a) the person's average earnings credited exclusively under United States laws and (b) the ratio of the duration of the person's periods of coverage completed under United States laws to the duration of a coverage lifetime as determined in accordance with United States laws. Benefits payable under United States laws shall be based on the pro rata Primary Insurance Amount.

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Chapter II--Provisions Applicable to Norway

ARTICLE 7

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  1. (a) Where a person has completed at least three years of coverage under Norwegian laws, or one year if covered while performing occupational activity in Norway, prior to the insured contingency, quarters of coverage completed under United States laws shall be taken into account to determine entitlement to disability, survivors and old-age pensions provided they do not coincide with periods of coverage already credited under Norwegian laws. To become entitled to a Norwegian supplementary pension based on the preceding sentence, pension points must have been credited for at least one year on the basis of occupational activity for at least one year.
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    (b) Four quarters of coverage completed under United States laws shall correspond to one year of coverage under Norwegian laws.

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  3. (a) If entitlement to a benefit exists under Norwegian laws without recourse to the provisions of this Agreement, the benefit shall be computed in accordance with Norwegian laws.
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    (b) If entitlement to a disability or survivors benefit under Norwegian laws exists only according to the provisions of this Agreement, the benefit shall be computed in the following manner:

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    1. The benefit amount shall be determined which would have been payable if the person's periods of coverage under United States laws had been periods of coverage under Norwegian laws.


    2. This amount shall be multiplied by the ratio between the person's actual periods of coverage under Norwegian laws and the sum of the person's periods of coverage under both Norwegian and United States laws.
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    4. If the person's total periods of coverage under Norwegian laws, or the sum of such periods and periods of coverage under United States laws, exceeds 40 years, then the actual period, or sum of periods, shall be replaced by the figure "40" for the purposes of the said calculation.
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    6. A supplementary pension shall be computed on the basis of the average annual pension point figure for the years during which the person concerned has been credited with pension points under Norwegian laws in accordance with the rules for the calculation of the final pension point figure under the National Insurance Act.
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    8. The provisions of Paragraph 1(b) shall apply as appropriate.

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  5. If entitlement to an old-age pension under Norwegian laws exists only according to the provisions of this Agreement, the old-age pension shall be computed on the basis of periods of coverage fulfilled and pension point years credited under Norwegian laws.

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  6. A Norwegian disability or survivors pension shall be converted to an old-age pension when the person reaches the general pension age. The old-age pension shall be computed on the basis of periods of coverage and pension point years used to compute the disability or survivors pension.
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  8. Supplementary pensions payable to persons to whom this Agreement applies shall be computed in accordance with the overcompensation provisions of Section 3-9 of the National Insurance Act. Pension increments due to overcompensation shall also be paid to persons to whom this Agreement applies when they are resident in the territory of the United States. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply in relation to Section 3-9 of the National Insurance Act.
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  10. Payment of rehabilitation benefits, basic benefits, attendance benefits, guaranteed minimum supplementary pension benefits to persons becoming disabled at birth or at a young age, education benefits and child care benefits to persons not resident or present in the territory of Norway shall be determined in each case pursuant to Norwegian laws.
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  12. Pensions already payable prior to 1 January 1991 which do not take into account all periods of residence in Norway prior to 1967 and later than 1936, shall be recalculated upon request from the beneficiary. If the result of this recalculation is more favorable, the differential amount shall be paid retroactively from 1 January 1991.
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  14. Funeral grants under Norwegian laws shall be payable in respect of persons who were subject to Norwegian laws at the time of their death.

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PART V

Miscellaneous Provisions

ARTICLE 8

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The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States shall:

  1. Conclude an administrative agreement and make such other administrative arrangements as may be necessary for the implementation and application of this Agreement;

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  2. Communicate to each other information concerning the measures taken for the application of this Agreement; and

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  3. Communicate to each other, as soon as possible, information concerning all changes in their respective laws which may affect the application of this Agreement.

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ARTICLE 9

  1. The Competent Authorities and the agencies of the Contracting States, within the scope of their respective authority, shall assist each other in implementing this Agreement. This assistance shall be free of charge subject to exceptions to be agreed upon in an administrative agreement.
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  3. Liaison agencies for the implementation of this Agreement shall be:
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    1. for the United States, the Social Security Administration;


    2. for Norway, the National Insurance Institution.

 

ARTICLE 10

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Where the laws of a Contracting State provide that any document which is submitted to the Competent Authority or an agency of that Contracting State shall be exempted, wholly or partly, from fees or charges, including consular and administrative fees, the exemption shall also apply to documents which are submitted to the Competent Authority or an agency of the other Contracting State in accordance with its laws.

 

ARTICLE 11

  1. The Competent Authorities and agencies of the Contracting States may correspond directly with each other and with any person wherever the person may reside whenever it is necessary for the implementation of this Agreement. The correspondence may be in the writer's official language.
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  3. An application or document may not be rejected because it is in the official language of the other Contracting State.

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ARTICLE 12

  1. A written application for benefits filed with an agency of one Contracting State shall protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant requests that it be considered an application under the laws of the other Contracting State or provides information indicating that the person on whose record benefits are claimed has completed periods of coverage under the laws of the other Contracting State.
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  3. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, an applicant may specify that an application filed with an agency of one Contracting State not be considered an application under the laws of the other Contracting State or that the application be effective on a different date in the other Contracting State within the limitations of and in conformity with the laws of the other Contracting State.

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ARTICLE 13

  1. A written appeal of a determination made by the agency of one Contracting State may be validly filed with an agency of the other Contracting State.
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  3. Any claim, notice, or appeal which must be filed within a given period of time with the agency of one Contracting State shall be considered to have been timely filed if the claim, notice, or appeal has been filed within such period with the agency of the other Contracting State. In such case, the agency with which the claim, notice, or appeal has been filed shall indicate the date of receipt on the document and transmit it without delay to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.

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ARTICLE 14

In case provisions designed to restrict the exchange of currencies are issued in either Contracting State, the Governments of both Contracting States shall immediately confer on the measures necessary to insure the transfer of sums owed by either Contracting State under this Agreement.

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ARTICLE 15

  1. Disagreements between the two Contracting States regarding the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement shall, as far as possible, be settled by the Competent Authorities.
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  3. If a disagreement cannot be resolved by the Competent Authorities of the Contracting States, they shall endeavor to settle the issue through arbitration, mediation or other mutually agreed procedure.

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PART VI

Transitional and Final Provisions

ARTICLE 16

  1. This Agreement shall also apply to events relevant to rights under the laws which occurred prior to its entry into force.

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  3. This Agreement shall not establish any claim to payment of a benefit for any period before its entry into force or a lump-sum death benefit if the person died before its entry into force.
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  5. Consideration shall be given to periods of coverage under the laws of either Contracting State occurring before the entry into force of this Agreement, in order to determine the right to benefits under this Agreement.
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  7. Determinations made before the entry into force of this Agreement shall not affect rights arising under it.

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  9. This Agreement shall not result in the reduction of cash benefit amounts because of its entry into force.

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ARTICLE 17

  1. This Agreement shall remain in force and effect until the expiration of one calendar year following the year in which written notice of its termination is given by one of the Contracting States to the other Contracting State.
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  3. If this Agreement is terminated, rights regarding entitlement to or payment of benefits acquired under it shall be retained; the Contracting States shall make arrangements dealing with rights in the process of being acquired.

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ARTICLE 18

  1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the month in which each Government shall have received from the other Government written notification that it has complied with all statutory and constitutional requirements for the entry into force of this Agreement.
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  3. Nothing in this Agreement shall supersede the exchange of notes between the Ambassador of the United States of America and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry in Oslo on June 26, 1968, concerning old-age, survivors and disability benefits.

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  5. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, the Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway on Social Security of January 13, 1983, shall be terminated and shall be replaced by this Agreement.
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  7. (a) Any right to benefit acquired by a person in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway on Social Security of January 13, 1983, shall be maintained.

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    (b) Any claim to benefit made but not finally adjudicated at the date upon which this Agreement comes into force, shall be adjudicated according to the provisions of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway on Social Security of January 13, 1983, if this gives a more favorable result.

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In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed the present Agreement.

 

Done at Oslo on November 30, 2001 in duplicate in the English and Norwegian languages, the two texts being equally authentic.

 

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Jay L. Bruns III

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY:

Ingjerd Schou

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ADMINISTRATIVE AGREEMENT
FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY
ON SOCIAL SECURITY OF NOVEMBER 30, 2001


In conformity with Article 8(a) of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway on Social Security of November 30, 2001, hereinafter referred to as "the Agreement," the following provisions have been agreed upon:

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Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 1

Terms used in this Administrative Agreement shall have the same meaning as in the Agreement.

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Article 2

The liaison agencies designated in Article 9.2 of the Agreement shall agree upon joint procedures and forms necessary for the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Agreement.

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Chapter 2

Provisions on Coverage

Article 3

  1. Where the laws of a Contracting State are applicable in accordance with Article 5 of the Agreement, the agency of that Contracting State shall issue upon request of the employer, employee or self-employed person a certificate stating that the concerned employee or self-employed person is covered under those laws. The certificate shall be proof that the employee or self-employed person is exempt from the laws on compulsory coverage of the other Contracting State.
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  3. The certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall be issued


    -- In the United States

    By the Social Security Administration

    -- In Norway

    By the local National Insurance Office where the person resides in the cases mentioned in Article 5.1 and 5.4, and by the National Insurance Office for Social Insurance Abroad in the cases mentioned in Article 5.2, 5.3, 5.5 and 5.6.

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Chapter 3

Provisions on Benefits

Article 4

  1. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits is first filed in accordance with Article 12 of the Agreement shall inform the agency of the other Contracting State of this fact without delay, using forms established for this purpose. It shall also transmit documents and such other available information as may be necessary for the agency of the other Contracting State to establish the right of the applicant to benefits according to the provisions of Part IV of the Agreement. In the case of an application for disability benefits it shall, in particular, transmit all relevant medical evidence in its possession concerning the disability of the applicant.
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  3. The agency of a Contracting State which receives an application filed with an agency of the other Contracting State shall without delay provide the agency of the other Contracting State with such evidence and other available information as may be required to complete action on the claim.

  4. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits has been filed shall verify the accuracy of the information pertaining to the applicant and his family members. The types of information to be verified shall be agreed upon by the agencies.

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Article 5

In the application of Article 6 of the Agreement, the Norwegian liaison agency shall notify the United States liaison agency of the years in which a person is credited with pension points under Norwegian laws.

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Article 6

In the application of Article 7 of the Agreement, the United States liaison agency shall notify the Norwegian liaison agency of the periods of coverage completed under United States laws.

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Chapter 4

Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 7

In accordance with measures to be agreed upon pursuant to Article 2 of this Administrative Agreement, the agency of one Contracting State shall, upon request of the agency of the other Contracting State, furnish available information relating to the claim of any specified individual for the purpose of administering the Agreement or the laws specified in Article 2.1 of the Agreement.

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Article 8

Copies of documents which are certified as true and exact copies by the agency of one Contracting State shall be accepted as true and exact copies by the agency of the other Contracting State, without further certification. The agency of each Contracting State shall be the final judge of the probative value of the evidence submitted to it from whatever source.

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Article 9

The liaison agencies of the two Contracting States shall exchange statistics on the payments made to beneficiaries under the Agreement for each calendar year in a form to be agreed upon. The data shall include the number of beneficiaries and the total amount of benefits, by type of benefit.

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Article 10

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  1. Where administrative assistance is requested under Article 9 of the Agreement, expenses other than regular personnel and operating costs of the Competent Authorities and agencies providing the assistance shall be reimbursed in accordance with procedures to be agreed upon by the liaison agencies.
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  3. Where the agency of a Contracting State requires that a claimant or beneficiary submit to a medical examination, such examination, if requested by that agency, shall be arranged by the agency of the other Contracting State in which the claimant or beneficiary resides, in accordance with the rules of the agency making the arrangement and at the expense of the agency which requests the examination. The expenses incurred shall be reimbursed in accordance with procedures to be agreed upon by the liaison agencies.
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  5. Upon request, the agency of either Contracting State shall furnish without expense to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State any medical information and documentation in its possession relevant to the disability of the claimant or beneficiary.

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Article 11

The agency of a Contracting State shall pay any cash benefits due to beneficiaries under the Agreement without recourse to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.

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Article 12

Unless authorized by the national statutes of a Contracting State, information about an individual which is transmitted in accordance with the Agreement to that Contracting State by the other Contracting State shall be used exclusively for purposes of implementing the Agreement. Such information received by a Contracting State shall be governed by the national statutes of that Contracting State for the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal data.

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Article 13

This Administrative Agreement shall enter into force on the date of entry into force of the Agreement and shall have the same period of validity.

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Done at Oslo on November 30, 2001 in duplicate in the English and Norwegian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

 

For the Government of the United States of America:

Jay L. Bruns III

For the Government of the Kingdom of Norway:

Ingjerd Schou

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