In conformance with the Seafarer's Pensions Act (MEL), an employee is insured if he/she is working in conformance with the maritime labour legislation:
- On a Finnish merchant vessel used in foreign traffic
- On a Finnish rescue or fishing vessel operating at sea in intent to make profit
- On a Finnish icebreaker other than harbour icebreaker
- On a Finnish cargo vessel, towboat or pusher craft operating mainly in domestic sea traffic and entered in the list of merchant vessels
- On a Finnish merchant vessel operating in foreign traffic and leased mainly without a crew to a foreign operator if the employee is under contract to the ship owner or an employer hired by him/her
- On a foreign merchant vessel leased by a Finnish ship owner mainly without a crew if the employee is under contract to the ship owner or an employer hired by him/her.
On a vessel entered in the list of merchant vessels, the Seafarer's Pensions Act is applied to the citizens of EU/ETA countries and to the citizens of third countries living in the EU/ETA countries.
On icebreakers, the Seafarer's Pensions Act is applied to the crew and the officers. The officers in the service was transferred to the sphere of MEL 1st of January 2010.
The obligation to insure begins when the employee turns 17 years. Pension insurance do not be paid once the employee reaches a certain age as following:
- year of birth 1957 or earlier, at the age of 68
- year of birth 1958-1961, at the age of 69
- year of birth 1962-1964, at the age of 70
- year of birht 1965 or later, will be linked to life expentancy.
Who is insured in conformance with some other Employee Pensions Act?
An employee who is working on the ship as a musician, actor, dancer or other performing artist and whose contract is destined to last less than one year is not insured in conformance with the Seafarer's Pensions Act but with the Employees Pensions Act (TyEL).
A person working as an independent entrepreneur must insure him/herself in conformance with the Self-Employed Persons' Pensions Act (YEL) if he/she meets its requirements.
An employee working on a vessel operating in domestic traffic is insured in conformance with the Employees Pensions Act (TyEL). If the employee is working under the same contract in domestic and foreign traffic, he/she is insured in conformance either with the MEL or TyEL depending on which act corresponds better to his/her principal work. While organising pension security, the contract is not divided into the sphere of different pension acts.
In the case it is unclear if a certain person or persons working in a certain vessel should be insured in conformance with the Seafarer's Pensions Act or some other act, the issue is resolved by the board of the Seafarer's Pension Fund.