[Updated 3/30/23] Mandatory employee benefits in Sweden include workers’ compensation, statutory pension, unemployment insurance, and occupational healthcare. Desired supplementary employee benefits in Sweden include supplemental medical, supplemental retirement plans, travel insurance, and life and disability insurance.
Sweden is highly affected by strong unions, so the majority of all companies are in some form of collective bargaining agreement (CBAs). Companies that are not, tend to mirror the standard CBA by securing benefits packages that are in line with employee expectations and the market standard.
In Sweden, approximately 80-90% of employees are covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements, but beyond providing life benefits, their impact on benefits provisions is limited.
What is typically prescribed by CBAs includes leave, pay, and holiday requirements. Employers should be aware of any Collective Bargaining Agreements that may be present on the national, industry, and company levels.
Mandatory employee benefits in Sweden
These benefits are from the government and financed through payroll and income taxation.
- Income Pension – Out of the total pension contribution of 18.5% of salary (up to 7.5 IBB), 16 percentage points go to your income pension. The state takes care of this money until you retire. Growth in Sweden governs how your money grows.
- Premium Pension – The remaining 2.5 percentage points go to the premium pension. This money is saved in funds, and here you can decide in which funds the money is to be invested. The Swedish Pensions Agency manages this system. If you do not make your own choice, your money will be placed in the pre-selection option AP7 Såfa.
- Survivor’s Pension – Survivors’ pension: widow, widower, registered partner, and cohabitant can receive this for a limited period. Children of the deceased receive a child pension up to, and including the month they turn age 18.
- Sickness Benefit – Sickness benefit is paid from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency from day 15-90 in the event of illness. It is 77.6% up to 10 price base amounts. The first day you are home is counted as a qualifying day; the employer pays sick pay between days 2-14.
- Mandatory Leave – Statutory leaves and allowances (annual leave 25 days minimum, sick leave, maternity, parental leave, childbirth allowance). There are options for employers to supplement the state’s base allowance/compensation level regarding, e.g., sick leave and parental leave.
- Parental Leave – The right to actual leave is regulated in the Parental Leave Act and certain special ordinances, such as ordinances for government employees. The right to compensation and the level employees receive is determined in the Social Insurance Code and in the collective agreement (if such exists in the workplace), where there may be regulation in both the central and local agreements.
Supplementary employee benefits in Sweden
- Occupational Pension – Occupational pension is an employer-paid employee benefit where pension premiums are paid on behalf of each employee every month. The occupational pension is a supplement to the general pension (national public pension as a state benefit).
- Pension Counseling – Pension counseling to employees is financed by deducting an agreed fee from the premium. Söderberg & Partners has procured a pension plan with different insurance and fund fees, depending on advisory and compensation options.
- Salary and Bonus Exchange – The company can offer gross salary waivers as an employee benefit for switching to pension savings (‘salary exchange’ and ‘bonus exchange.’
- Occupational Accident Insurance (TFA) – Covers accidents happening at work (during working hours).
- Supplemented accident insurance – Usually to extend to leisure time to cover accidents 24/7 and also on leisure time when working remotely.
- Occupational Group Life Insurance (TGL) – Lump sums are paid out to the surviving spouse/registered partner (not cohabitant) in the event of death.
- Group Insurance – The employed and co-insured spouse/cohabitant can be offered to take out voluntary group insurance. The following elements are selectable in the group insurance.
- Life insurance
- Child and youth insurance
- Disability and accident insurance
- Income insurance for sick leave
- One-off amount for long-term illness
- Income insurance in case of unemployment
- Medical insurance
- Long-Term Disability Insurance – Until sick day 90, compensation is paid by the employer and/or the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in accordance with the laws in force at any given time. Sickness benefit is paid according to sick pay-based income.
- Supplemented sickness allowance – Employers can (in line with the CBA) supplement sickness benefits from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency corresponding to 10% of the employee’s salary (days 15-90) on salary components up to 10 price base amounts. If the employee’s annual salary is more than 10 price base amounts, the company also pays 90% of the salary that exceeds 10 price base amounts.
- Disability pension – Employers can supplement long-term disability insurance from sick day 91, where supplementary compensation in the form of a disability pension is paid from disability insurance taken out by the company.
- Health counseling and rehabilitation support (add-on) – Long-term disability insurance can be extended to also include a support service (counseling/call support). Counseling support is offered to the employee if he or she experiences health issues or problems that may affect his or her ability to work, regardless of whether the problems are private or work-related. Disability insurance also includes rehabilitation insurance adapted to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency’s rehabilitation chain and ensures the company receives help fulfilling its responsibilities.
- Medical Insurance – Provides faster access to health care, amongst other things. The premiums for this insurance can be financed through the company or gross salary waiver, amongst other alternatives. When financed by the company, employees are taxed for this benefit.
- Supplemented Parental Allowance – Compensation (Statutory) equals approximately 80% of salary up to a salary cap of 10 price base amounts (PBB). The supplemented parental allowance part (in line with most CBAs) corresponds to 10% of income up to 10 PBB. Employers can cover 90% of salary parts above the salary cap of 10 PBB. Parental allowance + Supplementary parental allowance then corresponds to compensation of almost 90% of the entire salary (no cap).
- Group Travel – Business travel insurance is almost seen as a must in sectors where the employees travel; occasionally, leisure travel is also covered.
Employee Perks in Sweden
The most diverse employee benefits in Sweden are typical of the IT, Tech, and Pharma sectors, where you should be able to offer a little bit more than others in your field to be an attractive employer. Employers may be required to provide additional perquisites according to what is prescribed in Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Although the list of common perks in Sweden is quite long, the most popular ones are intangible ones like education, extended occupational healthcare, flex work, and remote work (not to mention mobile phones, extended occupational healthcare, and meal vouchers, which are now taken for granted). Some others include:
- Work flexibility (e.g., flexible work schedule, remote work, additional vacation days)
- Bicycle benefit
- Wellness allowance
- Personnel discounts (wellness etc.)
- Car benefit/allowance
- Company car
- Home cleaning service as a benefit
- Meal vouchers
- Workplace canteens
- Dental care
- Extended medical insurance
- Personnel fund
- Bonus plans as an incentive
- Stock purchase plan
This information about employee benefits in Sweden is provided by Söderberg & Partners, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in the country. If you would like support with your employee benefits in Sweden, contact Asinta, and we will put you in touch with Söderberg & Partners.