FAQs about membership

Who can become a member and what can I do if my workplace has no collective agreement? Here we have collected all the FAQs about membership of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers. 

Decision regarding a temporary membership fee increase

The Executive Council of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers has mandated the Association Board to decide on the need for a temporary increase in the membership fee. This is in order to secure the financing of the income insurance scheme at a time when unemployment is expected to rise significantly. The Association Board did on June 2nd determine the amount the fee will be increasd by, as well as the time period and which members will be included in the increase. We have put together a summary of the most common questions and answers regarding a possible temporary increase in membership fees.

The corona crisis has hit the Swedish labour market hard in a wide range of sectors. Many companies have laid off employees and more and more have started issuing redundancy notices. We have seen that our members are also being affected, and it is likely that layoffs and redundancies for engineers will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months.

As a result, we have been reviewing the union’s income insurance. It is likely that the situation will result in highly unexpected and substantial costs for the insurance, and these costs will require extra capital because the existing funds will not suffice.

The premium for 2020 was calculated at an unemployment rate of approximately 0.8% among the insured collective on a full-year basis. In addition, there are security margin reserves in both the insurance company and the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers which could cover a temporary increase in the number of unemployed beyond this level. These reserves would cover around another 0.5% of the insured members needing to use the insurance without the insurance company's reserves becoming too depleted and additional funds being required.

  • Professional members who pay the full membership fee will pay SEK 100 per month extra.
    Professional members who pay a reduced membership fee will pay SEK 30 per month extra.
    Student members, professional members over the age of 65 and retired members will not be affected by this temporary increase.
    The increase will be enforced from July 1st 2020 and last at the longest until December 31st 2021.

It is currently very difficult to make the type of calculations that are normally made when working out the following year's premium. We have made some reasonable assumptions based on the prevailing situation and made the calculations based on these, but there are obviously uncertainties.

We have looked at a number of different scenarios, which we have then aggregated. Our aim is to find a premium level that we believe will be likely to ensure that the existing conditions within the insurance scheme can be maintained, i.e. 80% of salaries up to SEK 100,000 can be insured for up to 150 days.

The main scenario shows that round 3.8% of members will become unemployed in 2021, (compared with 0.8% according to the forecast for 2020 made before the Corona pandemic), with a sharp increase in the number of unemployed members in the second half of 2020. The scenario for 2020 is that 2.8 per cent will become unemployed calculated over the full year, where the increase compared with the original forecast will be seen entirely in the second half of the year.

Insurance companies need to be able to provide cost-effective insurance while having sufficient capital to pay compensation. It is important that the capital the insurance company has available is proportionate to the policy holders’ normal utilization rate, albeit with a certain margin.

The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers aims to maintain good balance in its insurance without building up large capital reserves. In other words, the insurance should cover its costs without accumulating a big pile of money.

 

The premium level is calculated annually by actuaries at the insurance company, (Folksam), and is based on a number of assumptions regarding things like economic trends, unemployment levels, salary levels and the length of unemployment periods seen in previous years. The premium is to be set at a level that covers the payment of insurance compensation, operating costs and claims settlement costs while ensuring that the insurance company can maintain sufficient reserves in accordance with current regulations.

The 2020 premium was set in the autumn of 2019, and among the things it took into account was an assumption of increased unemployment, but the calculations were made before we knew anything about the coronavirus, its spread and its effects on society and the economy.

The temporary increases in unemployment compensation levels are a welcome contribution, but they will not cover the increased burden that our 2021 scenario of 3.8 per cent unemployment among engineers implies. On average, our members earn significantly more than both the former and the temporarily raised ceilings in the unemployment insurance system.

Professional members will be included by the increase. Student members, professional members over the age of 65 and retired members will not be affected by this temporary increase.

In order to qualify for the income insurance, you need to have been a member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers for at least 12 months and be registered as a working member. You must have been in employment for at least 12 of the previous 18 calendar months and be entitled to income-related benefit from the AEA unemployment insurance fund (a-kassa). During these 12 months, you must have worked at least 80 hours per month.

Compensation is paid for 150 days and only applies in cases of involuntary unemployment. The insurance expires at the end of the month before you turn 65.

More information and a calculation of what you would receive if you became unemployed can be found here.

This is how the money from your membership fee is used.

  • 32% Advice and support to members, negotiations and legal representation
  • 13% Income insurance
  • 11% Service and membership benefits
  • 10% Influencing and opinion building
  • 14% Communication and recruitment
  • 6% The members’ magazine Ny Teknik
  • 5% The trade union conflict fund
  • 5% Cooperation with Saco and other associations
  • 2% Democratic organization
  • 2% Trade union education

(Figures from 2018)

More people are interested in joining the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and are submitting applications, and obviously we welcome this. The decision regarding membership fees will be based on ensuring our capability to offer a high level of security through the income insurance for both existing and new members who suffer unemployment. However, new members are not covered by the income insurance immediately, as there is a qualifying period of 12 months.

The premium for 2020 was calculated on the basis of an unemployment rate in the insured collective of around 0.8% on a full-year basis. The beginning of the year was in line with that assumption, but we have not yet seen the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, we can already see a significant increase in applications for unemployment support in March.

The Board's assessment of unemployment levels for engineers is based on the following:

  • The Employment Service's redundancy notice statistics, which show extremely high levels and a record rate of increase.
  • In its April 2020 forecast, the National Institute of Economic Research points to a sharp rise in unemployment, rapidly falling GDP and an extremely deep recession in the Swedish economy
  • In its spring budget, the Swedish Ministry of Finance assumes an unemployment rate of 9%. If the crisis is prolonged, the Ministry expects an unemployment rate of 13.5%.
  • Banks such as Swedbank, SEB and Handelsbanken predict an unemployment rate as high as 10% in their April 2020 economic forecasts.

 

We have calculated the proposed new fee level on the basis of rapidly rising unemployment and increased pressure on the income insurance scheme.
More people are interested in joining the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and are submitting applications, and we welcome this of course. The decision regarding membership fees will be based on ensuring our capability to offer a high level of security through the income insurance for both existing and new members who become unemployed.

The temporary increase in the membership fee gives us greater scope to ensure that the income insurance scheme is sufficiently well funded to be able to cope with a sharp increase in unemployment among our members for the period the Association Board decides on.

There are a number of different factors that affect the insurance scheme, such as the number of that days people are unemployed, the average salary of those who are unemployed, whether further changes are made to the rules regarding unemployment insurance fund and compensation levels or when the ceiling for unemployment insurance compensation returns to the normal level. Today, it is impossible to make reliable assumptions regarding these, but we are of course following and analysing developments closely.

We have looked at alternative solutions. However, the Executive Council decided that a temporary increase in membership fees is the best solution.

Other options the Council looked at were:

  1. Remortgaging the Association’s central office building. The Executive Board's assessment is that taking out a loan is the equivalent of postponing the cost until later.
  2. Taking a loan from the trade union conflict fund. However, the purpose clause in the statutes of the conflict fund does not allow the assets of the fund to be used for anything other than labour market conflicts.
  3. Revising the terms of the income insurance. The Association Board believes it is vital to keep the promise to our members to provide financial security. A reduction in compensation levels in the insurance would also not provide enough of a saving to ensure that the insurance is sufficiently well funded.
  4. Making cuts to central office functions. We have reallocated the central office's resources to deal with the sharp increase in the number of members requiring support and advice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Any downsizing of central office functions would adversely affect our ability to provide full service to our members.

 

All members are covered by the income insurance following the 12-month qualifying period. It is a collective insurance included automatically in the membership for all members. The basic idea behind the creation of the income insurance is that we have mobility in the labour market and members should be covered by the insurance from day 1 if they change from one sector to another.
However, not all members can receive compensation from the insurance as they receive compensation from other insurances, such as TRR or the Job Security Foundation (Trygghetsstiftelsen).

Our calculations are based on the assumption that the cost structure will remain as it is today, i.e. that a certain proportion of members will be covered by other insurances such as TRR, the Job Security Foundation or the transition fund.

Membership

In order to become a full member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, you must have earned one of the following qualifications:

  • Master of Science in Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering of at least 180 higher education credits
  • Degree as Master or Bachelor of Technology
  • Have completed at least 165 higher education credits (110credits) within any of the above programmes
  • Academics with other technical-natural scientific degrees of at least 180 higher education credits (120 credits) may also become full members of the association.


To be a student member you must:

Study at a Swedish university/university college on an engineering programme that will lead to either a Master or Bachelor of Science in Engineering of at least 180 higher education credits.

For applicants with other qualifications the following applies:

Other Swedish degrees within natural sciences or technology and/or qualifications from overseas universities/higher education institutesare also entitled to full membership. State the overseas university/higher education instituteand the qualification you have in the online application or the application form. If we need any further information, we will contact you. If you are unsureofwhether your qualificationsentitle you tomembership, or if it is not available for selection in the application, please contact ourmembership helpline. 

We are there for engineers and we know more than any other union about your industry, education and work environment. Members have tools to strengthen them in their professional lives - whether they want to enter the labour market, develop in their current roles or take the next step in their careers. We safeguard your interests and provide you with support when you need us to negotiate for you. We sign collective agreements that cover everything from general working conditions to parental leave. Naturally, we also provide support for members who work at companies without collective agreements. Members also have access to many benefits. Read more about our membership benefits here.

Full membership of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers costs SEK 240 per month. Student membership costs SEK 180 per year. See all membership fees here.

  1. Apply for membership of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and, if you intend to change unemployment insurance fund at the same time, apply to join Akademikernas a-kassa. Akademikernas a-kassa can help you change unemployment insurance fund if you fill in their change of fund application (In Swedish).
  2. Apply to leave your current union.
  3. Notify us of your exit date from your current union. You pay no membership fee during the transfer period, i.e. the time it takes to conclude membership of your previous association.

If you are unsure whether you fulfil the conditions for membership of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, please wait before you leave your current union and unemployment insurance fund. By all means apply for membership with us but please note on your exit application that you are waiting for a decision from us on whether you may join or not.
If you already have income insurance with another union, your membership period there can generally be counted in the qualification period for our income insurance.

To change your membership from student to professional, click here  (In Swedish) and fill in your details to upgrade your membership.
You pay a reduced membership fee for your first two years as a full professional member.

We work to ensure that everyone has secure employment. An employer without a collective agreement usually provides a weaker safety net with poorer working conditions for employees. If you work for an employer without a collective agreement, you usually have no right to an annual salary review, no income supplement if you become ill and whether the employer pays occupational pension, overtime compensation or offers extra benefits for parental leave varies. In order for you to get any of these benefits - without a collective agreement – they must be included in your contract or in their personnel policy.

If you are working for an employer with no collective agreement, there are many reasons to become a member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers:

It is not easy to keep track of all your rights and what should be included in your contract, but members can get help from our in-house experts on labour law and employee rights. They help you check what you need in your particular position and review your contract to make sure that you get as much as possible of what a collective agreement would automatically entail. You will also receive expert help and advice on holiday issues, salary and general pension issues.

A company without a collective agreement does not have an employers’ organization to turn to for legal expertise if questions or problems arise. These may involve anything from dismissal to salary levels. In such situations there is a risk that the employer will not be aware of the relevant labour law and may make the wrong decision. It is therefore vital that you contact our advisory services at the earliest possible stage when you feel that something is not right in your workplace.

We know from experience that it is more common for those who are not members of unions to be let go first if there are redundancies and cutbacks, because they do not have the support of a union representative with labour law knowledge. One year of membership fees in the union corresponds to approximately one hour of legal fees - something members get at no extra cost through their membership.

Members also gain access to unique and exclusive benefits, such as engineer-specific salary statistics, CV assessments and LinkedIn profile reviews, seminars, discounts on insurance, individual advisory services and legal consultation with an engineering focus.

Working internationally can be an exciting and developing element in working life. But there is a lot to think about before going abroad. Labour law varies from country to country, as well as salary levels and other conditions. Members receive help and support, for example an assessment of your employment contract. If you are going to work in the Nordic region or in Australia, you can apply for a guest membership of the engineering union in the country you are working in. This is included in your regular membership fee to us. If you are working as an employee of a company outside the Nordic region, report this to us so you can get your union fees reduced.

To our membership information concerning working abroad and overseas membership (In Swedish)

When you retire, contact us to become a retired member (SEK 456 per year). Retired members receive the same general information as full members. The magazine Ny Teknik is included in this membership. Advisory services concerning pensions and other union issues are also included. 

You can become a retired member after written notification to the membership helpline via letter or e-mail. State your personal registration or membership number and the date of your retirement.

The month you become 65, you will automatically be excluded from the unemployment insurance fund. If you would like to leave Akademikernas a-kassa earlier you must notify them in writing, either via letter or e-mail.

Log in using your mobile BankID. Order your mobile BankID from your bank and download the BankID secure ap to your mobile or tablet. If you already have a mobile BankID, log in directly. 
See FAQs on logging in. (In Swedish)

Update your data by logging in. The information concerning your qualifications and employer is especially important if you are to receive good-quality, correct information, help and support when you need it. 
Log in  and select My pages (Mina sidor). All your data is there.

To leave the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, fill in and submit the exit request form (utträdesanmälan). Your membership will be concluded at the end of the month that your request is received.
Membership fees paid previously will not be returned. Feel free to contact the membership helpline if you have any questions about how to handle invoices you have received.

Find the cancellation form here.

Unemployment insurance fund

Fill in the application form to become a member of Akademikernas a-kassa. The form can be downloaded from akademikernasakassa.se (In Swedish).

You may only be a member of one unemployment insurance fund at a time. If you change fund you may count your previous membership period as long as there is no gap between the two periods.

How to avoid a gap in membership:

  1. Apply for membership of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and, if you must change unemployment insurance fund at the same time, also apply to join Akademikernas a-kassa. Akademikernas a-kassa will help you change fund if you fill in their form entitled Application for change of fund. You can find all necessary information at www.akademikernasakassa.se (In Swedish)
  2. Request exit from your current union.
  3. Notify us of your exit date from your current union. You will pay no membership fees during the transfer period i.e. the time it takes for you to conclude membership of your previous union.

If you are unsure of whether you fulfil the conditions for becoming a member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers, delay leaving your current union and unemployment insurance fund. Please apply for membership with us but note on your exit application that you are waiting for notification from us about membership.
For members of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers who are also members of Akademikernas a-kassa, income insurance is included in membership fees. If you already have income insurance cover in another union, this period can usually be counted towards qualifying for our income insurance.

No, it is possible to remain outside the Akademikernas a-kassa and only be a member of the association. However, you will not be covered by our income insurance. This applies only to members receiving benefits from Akademikernas a-kassa. 

If you are not a member of Akademikernas a-kassa (or any other unemployment insurance fund) you will receive only the basic amount if you become unemployed. Read more at  
www.akademikernasakassa.se

The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers pays the fees to Akademikernas a-kassa in advance. No member will be de-registered without first having been issued with a reminder concerning unpaid fees. If you are uncertain whether you have paid your membership fee, please contact our membership helpline on
08-613 80 00.

The fees paid to Akademikernas a-kassa are unchanged even if you are a jobseeker, however your union fees may be reduced. Read the conditions and apply for reduced fees

 

You are granted an automatic exit from the unemployment insurance fund from the month of your 65th birthday. If you wish to leave before your 65th birthday you must notify the union in writing via letter or e-mail. Don’t forget to include your personal registration number or your membership number.

If you are retiring, please contact us to start up a pensioner’s membership (SEK 456 per year).

No, you do not have to be a union member, you can be a member of Akademikernas a-kassa only. However, if you wish to be covered by our income insurance, you must be a union member.  

Direct application for membership can be made at www.akademikernas.se.

Income Insurance

Very favourable income insurance is included in the union fees of those of you who are a full member of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and Akademikernas a-kassa. You may also supplement your income insurance with two voluntary supplementary insurance policies which extend benefits by 180 days or extend the ceiling amount to SEK 160 000 per month gross.

If you have been covered by income insurance in another union, the period you have been covered can normally be credited towards the qualification period with us, if there is no gap in membership before joining. 
 
Under certain conditions, you may be credited with your insurance period in private income insurance as membership period in the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and as an insurance period for supplementary insurance. 
Contact Akademikerna’s Income insurance for more information on 0770-78 20 50 or kundservice@inkomstforsakring.com.

You apply for income insurance payments from  Akademikernas Income insurance (In Swedish).

Senast uppdaterad 2019-10-18