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Are you a graduate? Insure your income in Sweden
Photo: Jenny Jurnelius

Are you a graduate? Insure your income in Sweden

Published: 10 Sep 2012 14:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Sep 2012 14:22 GMT+02:00

If there was an A-Z of living and working in Sweden, then top of the list of would be a-kassa. To spell it out, they are the organizations that offer unemployment insurance.

Yet with 30 separate A-kassa organisations in Sweden, making the right choice isn’t as simple as A-B-C. For university graduates, however, it is as easy as AEA – Akademikernas A-kassa – the largest a-kassa in Sweden with around 650,000 members. At 90 kronor per month, it’s one of the cheapest too.

A is for advice

For anyone about to start a new career in Sweden, the advice is to join an a-kassa as soon as you begin to work. In the same way you insure your home or car, you shouldn’t forget to insure your income.

“Everyone working in Sweden is entitled to join an a-kassa,” says Anna Wright, head of web and marketing at AEA. “Unemployment insurance gives job­seekers financial benefits while seeking new employment. And if you are a member of an a-kassa you could receive 80 percent of your salary if you earn up to SEK 18,700 a month.”

In order to be eligible for such benefits, there are some conditions to consider. You must have worked at least half a year for a minimum of 80 hours a month to be entitled to a-kassa funds.

A is for above average earners

There is the possibility to protect your monthly salary if you earn above and beyond the SEK 18,700 top bracket. “We then recommend that you sign up for extra income insurance through a union,” Wright adds. “To be entitled to the extra income insurance you must be a member of an a-kassa.” However, you do not have to be a union member to pay into an a-kassa fund and be eligible for the highest regular remuneration of 680 crowns per day.

The economics of failing to join an a-kassa really don’t add up. For those who are not members, the state-funded Alfakassan will pay out a basic level benefit, but that is a maximum of SEK 320 per day.

A is for advantages

For graduates that studied either in Sweden or abroad, the advantages of joining AEA go beyond the cheap monthly membership fee. Because the organisation is not tied to a specific professional field, you can remain a member if you decide to pursue a different career and get a new job or even to set up business on your own.

Whether you are an employee or self-employed you can join AEA if you have a Bachelors degree or are on your way to completing your studies. In Sweden, this is equivalent to an academic qualification amounting to 180 points or 120 points before 2007.

A is for application

For people working in Sweden with a Bachelors degree from a university abroad, your qualification counts at AEA. Just send a copy of your certificate along with proof of salary and applying is easy online.

Go to application form for more information. The website is in Swedish but there is the option of filling in an application form (link opens PDF file) in English.

For personal assistance you can always contact AEA by telephone on 08-412 3300, Monday-Thursday 9-16 and Friday 13-16.

Article sponsored by AEA

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