social security in sweden

Social Security in Sweden

Sweden is the land of beautiful landscapes, picturesque lakes, and thousands of coastal islands. This Scandinavian nation is known for its high employment rate and favorable social security benefits that make the quality of life here better than elsewhere. Sweden, like other countries in that area, is considered stable, strong, and steady. Read on to learn more about social security in this country.


People who lose their jobs in Sweden can get remuneration through the unemployment insurance scheme. The benefit consists of two parts: basic insurance and voluntary income-related insurance.

The basic insurance depends on how much a person has worked, and it applies to those men and women who can’t get income-related benefits. Unemployment benefit based on the basic insurance is paid even if a person isn’t a member of the unemployment insurance fund or hasn’t been a member for 12 consecutive months.

On the other hand, to claim unemployment benefits based on income, a person needs to be a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months. 

In most cases, the occupation and field of work determine which type of unemployment benefits a person can claim. 

General Requirements

The general requirement for receiving remuneration is to be partially or completely out of work and to be registered with the Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service). In fact, a person needs to be registered with this service immediately after losing a job. Any delay in registration could cause problems with receiving remuneration.

To receive the unemployment benefits a person must meet the work-condition i.e., in 12 months before unemployment you need to perform gainful work for at least 80 hours per calendar for at least six months, or 480 hours minimum during consecutive six-month calendar period and worked for at least 50 hours of each of those six months.

The remuneration from basic insurance is SEK 365 a day. When it comes to the income-related salary, the benefits could go up to 80% of salary.

Sweden has various plans that support men and women during unemployment, especially young adults.

Family and Benefits

Social security in Sweden includes various plants, like in Denmark and Norway. These include:

  • Child allowance – paid to the end of quarter wherein a child reaches 16 or until finishes primary education.
  • Maintenance support – paid for a child younger than 18 who permanently lives with one parent. The parent who is supposed to pay child support doesn’t pay any or pays less than the maintenance support amount.
  • Housing allowance – paid to low-income households to subsidize housing costs.
  • Childcare allowance – paid to a parent for the care of a sick child or child with a disability.
  • Adoption allowance – paid for the adoption of a foreign citizen or non-resident of Sweden ages ten or younger.

Sweden also pays parental and maternity benefits. Pregnancy benefits are particularly intended for women working physically demanding and dangerous jobs. 

Healthcare System

The Swedish healthcare system is mainly government-funded, universal for all citizens, and it’s decentralized. Private healthcare also exists, though. Since it’s tax-funded, the public healthcare system in Sweden ensures that all residents have equal access to medical assistance. 

The 21 County Councils in Sweden are responsible for providing healthcare to inhabitants who live and are registered in those specific counties. To get medical help, you don’t need to meet some strict criteria and conditions.

Since the County Council determines healthcare fees, the costs are generally different in different municipalities. That being said, there is a “high-cost protection” for outpatient treatment and some medicines.

Retirement Benefits

Different types of pensions are available in Sweden:

  • Public pension
  • Occupational pension 
  • Private pension 

Most people receive an occupational pension from their employer. A private pension is optional. Generally speaking, the higher the salary and the later you retire, the higher the pension will be. While it’s possible to receive an occupational pension at the age of 55, it’s lower than retiring at 65.

Besides the old-age pensions, Sweden also has strong plans for disability pensions, survivor’s pension, and orphan’s pension.

The social security system in Sweden aims to grant all residents equal access to basic services starting with healthcare. Families and the elderly also get a strong support system in Sweden. 

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Author: Ludvig
Ludvig is the owner and driving force behind A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.