From the beginning of January 2022, the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers will amalgamate with two other unemployment funds.
As a member of the Industrial Union and Unemployment Fund you do not have to do anything. Your benefits remain the same.
All current members will automatically be transferred to the newly merged fund. You can just relax and know that you will have good unemployment security in the future, too.
The new fund is to be called the Open Unemployment Fund A-kassa, in daily language A-kassa. The name reflects the main idea: the fund is open to all, regardless of their profession.
This accessibility is because the new fund is the result of a merger. The two other funds to join are the one for construction workers and Finka. The latter covers – among others – actors, musicians and journalists.
A-kassa will have 190,000 members and become the third largest unemployment fund in Finland. This is one of the reasons for the merger: It is firmly believed that A-kassa will be able to deliver better service by joining forces, and also develop new services for members.
At the moment, there are 20 unemployment funds for wage and salary earners and one for entrepreneurs in Finland. This is due to many mergers that have taken place. In 2000 there were still 48 funds
Unemployment funds are the backbone of Finnish unemployment security.
Unemployment funds are the backbone of Finnish unemployment security. Since the year 1895, these funds have been mainly administered by trade unions.
Some two million people belong to unemployment funds in Finland Membership is important, as it gives the right to an earnings-related allowance in case of unemployment. This is significantly more than one would get without being a member of an unemployment fund.
For example, for a person on a monthly salary of 2,700 euros, no kids and participating in an employment promotion measure the unemployment fund allowance would be 81.27 euros a day. For a non-member a similar allowance paid by Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, would drop to 38.58 euros per day.
In 2020, out of all unemployment fund members, on average, 24 per cent have been receiving unemployment benefits, at least for some part of the year. For the industrial workers fund, the figure was higher, 38 per cent.
Last year, the total amount of allowances paid by the three now merging unemployment funds was more than 421 million euros.
A-kassa membership dues will be a fixed monthly amount. As it is now, the Industrial Union will collect and transfer dues to the new fund. Members do not have to worry about that in the future either.
TEXT HEIKKI JOKINEN