The United States was far and away the preferred destination for the young Swedes who dream of working outside of their home country, followed by the UK and Australia.
But while 30 percent of survey respondents said they want to work abroad, a much smaller number seemed aware of the possible adverse effects that a professional stint outside of Sweden might have on their pensions and social benefits.
Of those who want to work abroad, just ten percent said they had looked into what it might mean for their retirement while less than six percent had considered how they would obtain social benefits.
“Today's labour market is global and more and more people dream of living and working abroad. More want to see the world and that’s good, but many people receive a shock when they come home and find that they do not have the same rights as others in the Swedish labour market,” Henrik Ehrenberg, Unionen’s political director, said in a press release.
Swedes who have worked abroad warn that the positives of experiencing another culture should be weighed against the negative impact that it can have upon returning home.
Keke Kulego, who spent several years working in the financial industry in New York, told broadcaster SVT that he was “shocked” to find out that his pension funds would take a hit.
“When I received the first pension message and saw how little money I would have when I turn 65 I was shocked. It made me think that I should have thought about this before I left,” he said. “I would have made a plan for retirement.”
Unionen said it will be opening a pop-up office in Brooklyn to help Swedes in the Big Apple understand what their time abroad might mean for their future.
“If you have knowledge and prepare yourself before you go you can avoid some unpleasant surprises when you return home,” Ehrenberg said.