Swedish Social Security
In general, there are common rules for social insurance within the EU, such as that you normally have social insurance in the country which you live in. On the other hand, if you work in a different country from the one where you live, the principal rule is that you have social insurance in the country where you work. There are also particular exceptions, for example for labour sent abroad, concurrent work in two or more countries, and various exemptions. There are also special rules for certain groups such as seafarers and those employed in international transport. Social security contributions are paid in the country in which you have social insurance.
In the case of being sent abroad, concurrent work in more than one country and exemptions, you need to carry form E 101, which shows the country in which you have social insurance. You can obtain the form from the Insurance Office.
Generally, Swedish social insurance system covers unemployment, occupational injuries, sickness, handicap, maternity and paternity leave, child allowances and elderly persons. To qualify for social insurance, the applicant must be a Swedish resident and for occupation related insurance, be or have been employed in the country. Public insurance is mostly income related, except for unemployment benefit, which is a flat rate.
Public social insurance is supplemented by sectoral or company insurance agreed during collective bargaining for unemployment benefit. Many trade unions offer a particular Unemployment Insurance Fund which is financed by grants from the government and membership fees. These benefits are income related and offer additional coverage to the flat rate paid by public insurance.
Employer’s contributions are paid by the person who has paid employees for work and is calculated on the sum of salaries and benefits paid, additionally the employer’s contributions are made up of the following charges: old-age pension charge, survivor’s pension charge, sickness insurance charge, parental insurance charge, work injury charge, labour market charge and general payroll tax.
For 2016 the amount in total to 31.42% of the total salary (2015: 31.42 per cent). A foreign employer without a fixed place of business in Sweden does not pay the general payroll tax, however, and the charges then total 21.77% (2015: 21.27%).
If working in Sweden for a foreign employer without a permanent establishment in Sweden, you and your employer may agree that you pay social security contributions. If you have social insurance in another country, your employer pays no employer’s contributions in Sweden.
Self-employed person’s contributions
If you are self-employed and carry on business as a one-man business or partnership you must yourself pay social security contributions in the form of self-employed person’s contributions, which are calculated on the net income, i.e. the surplus from business activity. If carrying on business in a limited company, the company pays employer’s contributions on your salary exactly in the same way as for employees.
Self-employed person’s contributions consist of the same component charges as the employer’s contributions as listed above but the sum of the charges is 28,97% (2015: 28.97 per cent). Please note, if you have social insurance in another country, you do not have to pay any self-employed person’s contributions.