What is an unemployment insurance fund?
In Sweden, there are 24 different unemployment insurance funds, each known as an A-kassa.
These funds pay out money to their members if they become unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements for compensation. The unemployment insurance funds decide who is entitled to receive compensation. They also accept members who wish to join the fund in order to be entitled to receive unemployment compensation if they become unemployed.
In Sweden, there are different types of unemployment insurance fund.
The unemployment insurance fund that you should join depends on which sector you work in.
Everyone who works in Sweden can join
Most people who work in Sweden choose to join an unemployment insurance fund. Today, unemployment insurance funds have a total of 3.9 million members. You do not have to be a Swedish citizen in order to join – all that is required is that you have a coordination number and work in Sweden for an employer who pays taxes and social security contributions on your behalf. Those who are self-employed can also join.
What happens if I am not a member of an unemployment insurance fund?
If you have worked enough to meet the eligibility requirement but have not been a member of an unemployment insurance fund, you can still receive compensation, but it will be a lower amount (known as the basic amount).
Without the unemployment insurance fund, you will receive a maximum of SEK 510 per day (before tax) if you have worked full time for at least one whole year. This is included in the basic unemployment insurance.
If you are a member, you can receive up to SEK 1,200 per day from the unemployment insurance fund, as well as additional compensation if you have income insurance.
Is SMÅA the right unemployment insurance fund for me?
SMÅA is an unemployment insurance fund for those who run a small business. Companies with 0–249 employees are classified as small businesses by SMÅA.
Family members of someone who is self-employed can also apply for membership.
Low cost, major support
It costs just SEK 159 per month to be a member of SMÅA.
The role of the Public Employment Service
It is the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) that will help you to find new work. In order to receive compensation from the unemployment insurance fund, you must have registered with the Public Employment Service and be actively looking for work.
You will also need to be in contact with the Public Employment Service and take part in planned meetings. If you do not take responsibility for your search for work, or if you prolong your period of unemployment, you may be disqualified from receiving compensation.
There are more reasons to join, other than money – you might, of course, never become unemployed. But as a member, you can receive certification that may be of help if you want to rent or buy a home. Membership makes it possible for you to dare to change jobs, you will be contributing to a good system, and you will avoid anxiety and be able to sleep well at night.
The money you receive from the unemployment insurance fund when unemployed is not an allowance but is compensation that is both taxable and contributes to your eligibility for a pension. You will have qualified for the compensation by working, and you receive the compensation by making yourself available to work. For this reason it is not means-tested, and there are also strict requirements that you must try to find work.
The money that those who are without work receive from the unemployment insurance funds comes from the state. In turn, the state has received payments from the unemployment insurance funds (membership fees) and from employers (employer contributions). This means that everyone who works and pays taxes contributes to the unemployment insurance fund, whether they are a member or not.
Income insurance is a complement to the unemployment insurance fund. This is ideal for you if you earn more than the upper threshold for the unemployment insurance fund, making it possible for you to receive 80% of your previous income. However, you cannot have income insurance unless you are also a member of an unemployment insurance fund.
You should join an unemployment insurance fund as soon as you start work. All unemployment insurance funds follow the same rules – choose one that matches your profession, your education, the sector in which you work or your workplace. There is a selection tool that can help you to find the right unemployment insurance fund.
You can only be a member of one unemployment insurance fund at a time. The possibility of joining an unemployment insurance fund ends in the month of your 65th birthday.
In accordance with the law, we are only able to work with unemployment insurance. We cannot therefore offer any specific legal advice.
- You must have accrued a sufficient work history and been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for a certain amount of time.
- You must satisfy the eligibility requirement within the membership period.
- You must be able to work at least 17 hours per week.
- You must have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months.
- You must have registered with the Public Employment Service and be actively looking for a new job.
- You must be prepared to accept any suitable job and be available for work.