Unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse)
Your unemployment insurance for financial security.
What is an unemployment insurance fund?
A-kasse means unemployment insurance fund. In brief, an unemployment insurance fund is an organization, which insures you financially against unemployment. As with any other insurance, you pay a premium or membership fee in order to benefit from the insurance. This means, that you can get unemployment benefits from the unemployment insurance fund (max. 18.866 kr. per month (2019 figures)), if you should become unemployed for a period of time, and at the same time meet the other conditions for receiving benefits. (Read more about the unemployment benefit rules and regulations in the below link).
The unemployment insurance fund can therefore be a very important insurance for you – also with regards to getting back to work, as it is the unemployment insurance fund that helps you in this respect, in co-operation with your local Job Center. Subsequently, it is a very good idea to choose an unemployment insurance fund with a certain amount of expertise in helping their members get back into the labour market.
The unemployment insurance fund is also in charge of paying holiday allowance, early retirement benefits, parental care-leave allowance etc.
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Traditional unemployment insurance fund vs. independent unemployment insurance fund
Broadly speaking, you can divide unemployment insurance funds into two categories – the traditional ones, and those who are independent of political interests. Ase belongs to the latter and does not focus on a specific profession or area within the work market. On the other hand, we are competitive with regards to price, and we pay out exactly the same amount in unemployment benefits as any other unemployment insurance fund if you become unemployed.
Remember: You have the right to change to another unemployment insurance fund at any time. If you transfer to another unemployment insurance fund, you will keep your seniority. Your seniority means the number of years you have been a member in an unemployment insurance fund and the historic details relating to your membership. With an intact seniority of minimum 1 year, you maintain your entitlements and rights.
Must I be a member of an unemployment insurance fund?
It is completely up to you, whether or not you want to be a member of an unemployment insurance fund. However, it is worth noting, that an unemployment insurance fund ensures that you get unemployment benefits, if you should become unemployed (and can fulfill all other general unemployment benefit demands). You are not guaranteed cash benefits from the State, if you are unemployed and not a member of an unemployment insurance fund – you must fulfill a large number of requirements and first dispose of possessions like holiday home, car and shares in order to get the State cash benefits. Assets, that do not play a part in whether or not you can receive unemployment benefits.
Note that you must have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least 12 months and have been working for one year to be eligible for unemployment benefits. You must also be able to fulfil the income requirement, which means that you must have an accumulated, registered minimum income of 233.376 kr. (2019) within the past three years. A maximum monthly amount of 19.448 kr. can be included in the calculation, and only salary registered during a simultaneous unemployment insurance fund membership period can counted as part of the income requirement. In addition, you must meet the residency requirement, be available for the labour market and regularly apply for jobs.
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