Parental insurance and allowances to parents in Sweden

Financial support for families is part of the Swedish social insurance system. The purpose is to give financial security to families with children during the period when the burden of providing for them is greatest. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) is the government agency responsible.

The relevant legislation is contained in the Social Insurance Code

Regulations for the various forms of financial support to families are contained in the Social Insurance Code. This includes the benefits administered by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Pensions Agency.

More information

How it works

'How it works' describes this area in Sweden. We discuss the rules, strategies and action programmes that govern the area and present the fundamental principles. You will also find the government agencies or other bodies that are responsible.
The various forms of financial support to families contribute to creating a good economic standard of living and increase freedom of choice for families with children. This support also promotes opportunities for parents to combine work and family life.

Three areas of financial support to families with children

Financial family policy comprises financial support in three different areas: general allowances such as child allowance; insurance schemes such as parental benefits and temporary parental benefit; and means-tested allowances such as housing allowance and care allowance for disabled children. The gender equality bonus and municipal child-raising allowance are also included in financial support to families.

Insurance

  • Parental benefit
  • Temporary parental benefit
  • Pregnancy benefit
  • Child pension
  • Pension rights for childcare years

Parental benefit

Parental benefit supports opportunities for both parents to combine work or studies with parenthood. Parental benefit in connection with childbirth is the benefit available to parents when they are not working in order to be at home when the children are very young.

Temporary parental benefit

A parent who needs to stay home from work to look after a sick child under the age of 12 (in some cases 16) is entitled to temporary parental benefit. Temporary parental benefit may also be paid in certain other cases, for example when the child's regular caregiver is ill.

The father of a newborn baby is entitled to 10 days of temporary parental benefit, known as 'father days', in connection with the child's birth. If the child is adopted, the parents are entitled to five days each.

Pregnancy benefit

A woman with a physically demanding job who cannot carry out her duties towards the end of her pregnancy may receive pregnancy benefit. In addition, a woman who is not allowed to perform her ordinary work due to risks in the working environment may receive pregnancy benefit.

Child pension

A child who has a deceased parent may receive a child pension. The child pension compensates for part of the support that was contributed by the deceased parent. If the child receives a low, or no, child pension, he or she may also receive a surviving children's allowance.

Pension rights for childcare years

A parent is entitled to pension rights for childcare years for the first four years of the child's life, regardless of whether or how long the parent has been on parental leave. Only one of the parents can receive pension rights for childcare years, and only for one year at a time. The parents themselves decide which of them will receive the pension rights. If the parents do not choose, the parent with the lowest pensionable income will automatically receive the pension rights for childcare years.

General allowances

  • Child allowance
  • Adoption allowance

Child allowance

All families with children living in Sweden receive financial support in the form of child allowance. This is paid from the month following the child's birth, or later, for example, if the child moves to Sweden. The allowance is tax-exempt. A supplementary allowance for additional children is paid to families with two or more children.

Adoption allowance

The state contributes a fixed sum towards the costs of intercountry adoptions of children adopted through an authorised adoption organisation.

Means-tested allowances

  • Maintenance support
  • Housing allowance
  • Care allowance for disabled children

Maintenance support

Maintenance support guarantees that children whose parents are living apart receive a certain level of maintenance even when the parent who is liable to pay maintenance does not comply. It is paid to the parent with whom the child is living or directly to the child.

The parent liable to pay maintenance is obliged to repay the costs to society of the maintenance support provided, either wholly or in part. Maintenance support can be provided as full maintenance support, supplementary allowance or maintenance support in connection with alternating residence.

Housing allowance

Households with children living at home and households with access rights to children, i.e. children who live in the parent's household at times, may receive housing allowance. This allowance can also be paid to young adults up to the age of 29. The size of the allowance depends on housing costs, the size of the home, household income and number of children.

Care allowance for children with disabilities or prolonged illness

A parent of a child who has a disability or a prolonged illness may receive a care allowance, if the child needs extra supervision or if the illness or disability entails added costs.

Gender equality bonus

The aim of the gender equality bonus is to improve the conditions for gender equality in parental leave and participation in working life. Parents who take out an equal number of parental leave days receive the maximum bonus.

Child-raising allowance

The child-raising allowance is a voluntary municipal allowance that the municipalities can choose to introduce, finance and administer. The child-raising allowance provides greater opportunities for parents to stay at home and look after their child while the child is between one and three years of age.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency and the Swedish Pensions Agency are the government agencies responsible

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) is the government agency responsible for financial support to parents. The Agency investigates, decides on and pays out allowances and benefits.

Child pension and pension rights for childcare years are administered by the Swedish Pensions Agency.

The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate is responsible for supervising the social insurance systems and conducting efficiency reviews to safeguard legal rights and efficiency in the social insurance area.

Agency decisions may be reviewed

Anyone who is dissatisfied with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency's or Swedish Pensions Agency's decision may request that the Agency review the decision. If still dissatisfied with the review decision, they can appeal to an administrative court, then to an administrative court of appeal and finally to the Supreme Administrative Court.

Anyone who considers that they or anybody else has been treated incorrectly by a government agency or official in the processing of a matter can also file a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsmen.

Relevant rules and documents

Social Insurance Code (2010:110). (In Swedish only).