The Swedish Performing Arts Career Transition Foundation, ‘SOKstiftelsen’, has been constituted to support voluntary career transition for a defined group of artists who are or have been employed by publicly funded performing arts institutions.
The basis for SOKstiftelsen is a signed collective agreement between the employer organisation Swedish Performing Arts Association,‘Svensk Scenkonst’, and the two trade union organisations the Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film, ‘Teaterförbundet’, and the Swedish Union of Professional Musicians, ‘Sveriges Yrkesmusikerförbund’. This agreement replaces the state-regulated arrangement with a lower retirement age for certain groups of professions that applied previously, known as the ‘PISA regulation’. This reflects the sector’s need for career adjustment for certain groups of professions in order to maintain a high artistic standard at performing arts institutions.
Performing arts institutions that are covered by the ‘SOK’ agreement pay premiums for employed dancers, soloist singers, chorus singers, musical theatre artists and musicians. Premiums are paid both for permanent employees (established employees) and temporary employees. These premiums cover the cost of support for career adjustment and transition. This support may be both active and financial. Career counselling, coaching sessions as well as training or education are examples of active support. Financial support involves receiving income support and financial assistance for a particular period, such as when you are on a training course.
SOKstiftelsen in brief
- SOKstiftelsen provide services to the following defined professional groups: dancers, soloist singers, chorus singers, musical theatre artists and musicians.
- SOKstiftelsen recognize employments at publicly funded performing arts institutions exclusivly.
- For employees, the holding of both permanent and temporary positions are included.
- Certain transitional rules apply, so that employees who at the turn of 2014/2015 have less than five years to retirement under the PISA regulation are still covered by PISA.
- Employers, e.i. publicly funded performing arts institutions, pay premiums to SOKstiftelsen.
- Artists wishing to receive support to help their career transition can apply to SOKstiftelsen.
- Support may be applied for within particular age ranges, which vary depending on the profession.
- Both active and financial support may be provided.
- The type of support you may receive depends on your total length of employment at relevant institutions.
- In order to receive active support, you must have worked for at least 18 months over the past five years at one or more performing arts institutions covered by the SOK agreement.
- To receive financial support, you must have worked for a total of at least four years, or six years for musicians, at one or more performing arts institutions covered by the agreement. Over this period of employment, at the time of applying for support, at least 18 months must have been within the past three years for musicians, four years for soloist singers, chorus singers and musical theatre artists, and five years for dancers.
- A minimum of 16 years, or 22 years for musicians, of qualifying time is required in order to receive full financial support.
- The level of the financial support is based on your total qualifying time and your average income over the past 36 months within the past five years.