What is an A-kassa (Unemployment Fund) in Sweden?
A-kassa is commonly referred to as both the organization that administers unemployment insurance and the compensation you receive from the unemployment fund, in other words, unemployment benefit.
An a-kassa is an insurance designed to secure individuals' financial well-being during unemployment. The first a-kassa was established in the early 1900s by trade unions. A-kassas are independent organizations often associated with various professional fields or unions. Akavia, like all unions within the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), is affiliated with Akademikernas a-kassa which is Sweden's largest a-kassa.
How Does an A-kassa Work in Sweden?
A-kassa essentially functions as basic coverage for your salary. By being a member of an a-kassa, you have a foundational security that allows you to receive compensation if you become unemployed. All a-kassas in Sweden adhere to the same regulations: the Unemployment Funds Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act.
What is the Difference Between an A-kassa and Income Insurance?
An Income insurance complements the a-kassa and enables you to receive higher compensation if you become unemployed.
If you are unemployed and only a member of an a-kassa, your compensation from the a-kassa can, at most, be 80 percent of SEK 33,000 per month before tax, i.e., SEK 26,400. As a member of both the Akavia union and Akademikernas a-kassa, you are covered by Akavia's income insurance at no extra cost. Akavia's income insurance supplements the portion of your salary exceeding the a-kassa limit of SEK 33,000, up to 80 percent of SEK 100,000.
Which A-kassa Should I Choose?
The a-kassa you should choose depends on the professional field and industry you work in. A-kassas are often associated with various professional fields or unions. Akavia, like all unions within the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), is affiliated with Akademikernas a-kassa, Sweden's largest a-kassa. This means you need to be a member of Akademikernas a-kassa to access Akavia's income insurance.
Who Can Join Akademikernas A-kassa?
Anyone who works or has worked in Sweden can join an a-kassa. To join Akademikernas a-kassa, you need to be a university graduate.
- To be eligible for Akademikernas a-kassa, you need at least a bachelor's degree. Foreign university education is also considered.
- If you have studied (or are currently studying) at the university, Akademikernas a-kassa is the right choice for you.
- All types of employment are eligible, and you do not have to work in the profession you are qualified in.
- You must have a general work permit to qualify for membership.
University graduates work in various professions and industries. Everyone, regardless of their form of employment*, can join. It is just as important—maybe even more important—that you are a member of an a-kassa when you have temporary employment.
*Your salary must be paid by your employer; if you receive compensation through Arbetsförmedlingen / Försäkringskassan, it doesn't count as employment.