A-kassan: your unemployment insurance

What happens if you lose your job? Unemployment insurance is the number one safety net you have, should you find yourself out of work. But that’s not all: With our new income insurance, you’ll be covered up to 80 percent of your salary.

The unemployment fund – a-kassan in Swedish – is an insurance designed to keep you afloat during times of unemployment. A-kassan is an important factor in creating job security and preventing wage dumping. It’s up to you if you want to sign up, but at SEK 100 a month, joining AEA (Akademikernas a-kassa) is a cheap way to ensure peace of mind.

The conditions and compensation levels for receiving unemployment benefits are set in Parliament. During the first 100 days, you are entitled to 80 percent of your previous salary, up to SEK 25,025 a month, which is the current “ceiling” set by Parliament. That amounts to a maximum of SEK 20,020 a month before tax, or SEK 910 a day. During the next 100 days, the ceiling is lowered to 80 per cent of SEK 20,900 per month, which will give you a maximum amount of SEK 16,720 before tax, or 760 a day. After 200 days the compensation level is 70 percent of SEK 23 885, giving the same total of SEK 16,720 before tax.

If you make more than the current insurance “ceiling”, you’ll be glad to know that our income insurance is included in your membership. It supplements your basic unemployment benefits if your recent salary was higher than SEK 25,025. The income insurance covers up to 80 percent of your salary, up to SEK 100,000 a month, for a total of 140 days. To be eligible for compensation from the income insurance you have to be a member of and eligible for benefits from the unemployment fund. 

Akademikerförbundet SSR has a complementary income insurance for its members that complements your insurance from a-kassan should you find yourself without a job.

Work requirements

To be eligible for unemployment benefits you must meet certain requirements. You need to have been a member of this or another union for at least 18 months before your unemployment and a member of the unemployment fund (a-kassan) for at least 12 months. Student membership counts just the same as regular membership. If you have been a member for a shorter period of time, you might still be entitled to basic insurance (SEK 360 a day, five days a week).

The unemployment benefits you receive are based on your earnings over a period of 12 months. Normally this would be the 12 months prior to registering as unemployed at the employment agency (Arbetsförmedlingen). During this time you need to have worked at least 80 hours a month for a minimum of 6 months over the last year prior to your unemployment, received a wage or earned money from your own business, and paid taxes. Full-time studies, sick leave or parental can be discounted from your 12-month period. This means you can still meet the requirement if you have worked prior to your studies or parental leave. For instance, if you registered with Arbetsförmedlingen on August 1, 2016, your benefits will, barring studies or other exceptions, be based on the hours you worked between August 2015 and July 2016.

Remember that you need to register as unemployed at Sweden's Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) on your first day as unemployed. You can either do it electronically if you have an electronic ID, or in person at the unemployment agency.

Apply for membership in AEA

Membership in the unemployment fund is separate from the membership in the union. To join the fund, apply online at the AEA website. There you'll find more information about the unemployment fund and how to apply for benefits.