The Riksdag has 349 members who are chosen every four years in general elections. The members are regarded as being on their assignments around the clock, 365 days a year. The members of the Riksdag receive a basic, monthly pay of SEK 62,400, a sum which is subject to income tax. The members of the Riksdag represent the Swedish people and their task is to ensure that the people's will permeates all decisions taken by the Riksdag. The members who have been voted into the Riksdag and who belong to the same party form a parliamentary party group. In the party groups, the members discuss various matters on which the party is to adopt a position. Elections to the Riksdag Personal mandate A vote in the Chamber. The MPs show what position their respective parties have decided to adopt in a decision on a matter. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand. Loyalty to the party line is traditionally high in connection with votes in the Riksdag. The underlying idea is that the members are there to implement the programme the party went to election on. At the same time, each member of the Riksdag has a personal mandate from the electorate, and is not formally obliged to follow the party line. The level of acceptance for voting against one's party varies depending on the matter at hand, the party and whether or not the overall outcome of a vote is affected. The members of the Riksdag devote a great deal of their time to work in their committees, where the Riksdag's decisions are prepared. Other important tasks include writing private members' motions and addressing interpellations and questions to government ministers. The working days of a member of the Riksdag can vary greatly. When they are not at the Riksdag, members spend their time working in their constituencies, where they meet voters, companies and organisations and participate in the life of the community in various ways. How to contact a member of the RiksdagDo you want to ask a member of the Riksdag about an item of parliamentary business or send a comment? The Members and parties section provides information in Swedish about contact addresses, party affiliation and the constituencies of all members of the Riksdag. Members and parties Members' pay The members of the Riksdag receive a basic, monthly pay of SEK 62,400, a sum which is subject to income tax. The members are not employed by the Riksdag, instead they have an assignment from the voters to represent them in the Riksdag for a specific period of time. They therefore receive a pay rather than a salary. The size of this remuneration is determined by an authority under the Riksdag. The pay of the Speaker of the Riksdag amounts to SEK 160,000 a month, which is the same as that of the Prime Minister. The Deputy Speakers receive an increment of 30 % of the pay of a member. The chairs and deputy chairs of the parliamentary committees receive a similar increment of 20 % and 15 % respectively. Official journeys Journeys made by members of the Riksdag within the framework of their official duties are regarded as official journeys. The member's home residence is viewed as a place of work. This means that journeys to the Riksdag in Stockholm are also regarded as official journeys. Means of transport It is up to the members themselves to decide what domestic journeys to undertake and what means of travel is most suitable in terms of cost, time and environmental impact. Travel expenses are examined The members' travel expenses are examined by the Riksdag Administration. This means that the expenses are examined to ensure compliance with legislation, regulations and guidelines, that the route is stated, and that receipts have been enclosed for all expenses claimed. If supplementary information is required or there are any uncertainties, the members are contacted. Subsistence allowances - reimbursement for official journeys Members receive a subsistence allowance for journeys demanding an overnight stay at least 50 kilometres from their home residence. They receive a subsistence allowance of SEK 370 per day, of which SEK 220 are exempt from tax. The subsistence allowance for travel abroad is paid in accordance with amounts established by the Swedish Tax Agency and is exempt from tax. Free meals that are part of the official journey are deducted from the allowance. For official journeys requiring overnight accommodation in Stockholm, the subsistence allowance is SEK 110. This amount is exempt from tax and free meals are not deducted. Extended period of stay Members are permitted to arrive earlier or extend their stay in connection with official travel abroad if the travel costs can be reduced and the private part of the stay is in reasonable proportion to the period for the official visit. In other cases, the members must cover the additional costs themselves. Hotel accommodation The cost of hotel accommodation on official journeys is reimbursed in full. Annual season-tickets for train and air travel All members of the Riksdag are entitled to an annual season-ticket on the Swedish State Railways. Alternatively, members who have long journeys or with other special needs may be entitled to a travel pass for air travel. The season-tickets may only be used for official journeys undertaken as part of their duties as members of the Riksdag or for other public assignments. Journeys by car and taxi Members of the Riksdag can use their own cars, and are normally reimbursed at the rate of SEK 26.50 per 10 kilometres, of which SEK 18.50 are exempt from tax. Members may use taxis if there are no suitable public transport alternatives available, or if there are special reasons for doing so. Charge cards The members can apply for a charge card with personal liability for payment for use on official journeys. After the journey, members are obliged to submit a specification of travel expenses to the Riksdag Administration. Travel abroad by individual members of the Riksdag Most of the members' travel abroad takes place within the committees or party groups. It is also possible for members to receive allowances for individual official journeys abroad. They can receive up to SEK 50,000 per electoral period. Decisions concerning individual travel abroad are taken by the Deputy Speakers. Overnight accommodation A member of the Riksdag who lives more than 50 kilometres from the Riksdag is entitled to overnight accommodation in Stockholm from the Riksdag Administration's housing supply in Stockholm or to reimbursement for private overnight housing in Stockholm. Members of the Riksdag live free of charge in accommodation belonging to the Riksdag Administration. Members who rent overnight housing themselves are reimbursed for the actual cost, up to a maximum limit. At present, the ceiling is SEK 8600 per month. Capital costs for cash payments are not reimbursed. In order to be reimbursed for overnight accommodation, members fill in a form which they send to the Department for Administrative Services for Members together with a copy of their tenancy agreement or a similar document showing the rent or charge. The provisions are applied in such a way that members living together with someone else receive reimbursement for their part of the housing costs. The regulations have been drawn up in consultation with the Swedish Tax Agency. Technical equipment The Riksdag Administration provides members of the Riksdag with the technical equipment necessary for performing their parliamentary business. The members are offered: offices with basic equipment laptops, mobile telephones and tablets a printer, monitor and keyboard in their homes. The Riksdag pays the costs for mobile phones (subscription and calls), as well as for mobile broadband subscriptions. Private calls are to be paid by members themselves. Pensions The retirement pension paid by the Riksdag is a supplement to the national pension system. All members are entitled to a retirement pension, regardless of the age at which they begin or end their term of office at the Riksdag. The qualifying period is limited to a maximum of 30 years. How are pensions calculated? The retirement pension is calculated on the basis of disbursed members' pay plus certain increments. Entitlement to pension is calculated on the basis of 0.72 per cent of income which, when converted to whole years, does not exceed 7.5 (of the) income base amounts and 2.4 per cent for portions of income above this level, provided they do not exceed 30 base amounts. Earned pension rights are recalculated in accordance with changes to the income index up until retirement. When pension is paid out, the initial amount is made up of the pension rights with the addition of future annual income growth of 1.6 per cent. The amount is then recalculated annually taking into consideration changes in the income index over and above 1.6 percentage points. Transitional rules Pension rights earned according to the previous rules are to be recalculated to comply with the new system. Special transitional rules will apply until 2014. The pension system also includes certain benefits for surviving family members. Attendance and absence According to the Riksdag Act, members of the Riksdag may be granted leave of absence from their duties upon application. If a member is granted leave of absence for at least one month, his or her duties shall be carried out by an alternate member. The application for leave shall contain the reasons for the absence. The application is examined by the Speaker if it concerns a period of less than one month, and by the Riksdag in the case of a longer period. Members of the Riksdag who have been granted leave can resume their duties at any time, in which case the alternate's assignment will end. Members cannot, however, temporarily resume their duties in order to participate in a meeting of the Chamber, committee meeting, etc. Special provisions concerning pay reductions apply when leave of absence is granted. Different kinds of leave A member of the Riksdag can be granted sick or parental leave, or leave of absence in order to pursue activities outside the Riksdag such as an international assignment or assignment as state secretary. Part-time leave of absence is not possible. Pairing The party groups apply what is known as a pairing procedure in the Chamber in order to allow for occasional absences without formal consent from the Speaker. The procedure is applied to ensure a balance between the party blocs during votes in the Chamber. A pairing organiser in each party is responsible for pairing. No formal obligation to attend meetings of the Chamber There is no formal obligation for members of the Riksdag to attend meetings of the Chamber. The members receive their mandate from voters in connection with elections. It is the responsibility of the members of the Riksdag to ensure that they fulfil the confidence entrusted in them when performing their duties. In the next elections, the voters decide whether to renew this confidence. There are no general rules to decide how many members must attend in the Chamber for decisions to be taken. The duties of a member of the Riksdag are not limited to activities in the Riksdag such as meetings of the Chamber and committee meetings, they are also exercised in other contexts such as in the member's constituency, in other places or abroad. Reductions in pay in connection with leave for personal or special reasons Members of the Riksdag do not have holidays or receive holiday compensation as they are regarded as being on assignment 365 days a year. In 2006 a provision was introduced whereby a member can ask for a reduction in pay during a shorter leave of absence granted by the Speaker. The reasons for such leave include various personal reasons or other special reasons. Insurance Members are covered by group life insurance and are also insured against occupational injury, according to the same rules as those that apply to state employees. The Riksdag has also taken out insurance covering members' official journeys, both in Sweden and abroad. Financial redeployment support and guaranteed income There are two different systems for severance packages for members of the Riksdag who conclude their mandate; financial redeployment support and guaranteed income. The system for financial redeployment support applies to all new members elected at the 2014 parliamentary elections or later. For members of the Riksdag who have entered the Riksdag earlier than this and who have been re-elected in 2014, the system of guaranteed income applies. Financial redeployment support - a new system The Riksdag has decided that a new system of financial redeployment support for former members of the Riksdag shall replace the guaranteed income system. The purpose of the new system is to make it easier for those leaving their mandate as members of the Riksdag to return to working life outside the Riksdag. New members who have been elected to the Riksdag in the 2014 elections or who are elected later can receive financial redeployment support when they leave their mandate. In order to receive the support, the basic requirement is that the member has served for a continuous period of at least one year. The duration of the support depends on the number of years of service. The support is paid for a maximum of two years. A member of the Riksdag who is entitled to redeployment support receives 85 per cent of the members' pay when he or she concludes his or her mandate. If the former member has any other source of income, the support is reduced in accordance with certain rules. In certain circumstances, the support can be extended. A member of the Riksdag with at least eight years of service and who has reached the age of 55 during the year of leaving can receive support for a longer period if special grounds exist. This extension is made for at most one year at a time. The extended support can amount to a maximum of 45 per cent of the members' pay. The redeployment support is pensionable. It does not entitle the recipient to earned income tax credit. Guaranteed income - the old system The guaranteed income system applies to those who have been members of the Riksdag earlier and have been re-elected in the 2014 elections. The purpose of the guaranteed income is to create economic security for the period of adjustment that arises after a member leaves the Riksdag. It is not intended as a long-term means of support. A member who leaves before the age of 65 after at least three years, but less than six of continuous service, is entitled to a guaranteed income for one year. For members who have served for six consecutive years or more, the length of time for which the guaranteed income is paid depends on the age of the member. For example, if the member has served for six consecutive years or more and has also reached the age of 50, the guaranteed income is paid until he or she reaches the age of 65. The guaranteed income is calculated on the basis of the members' pay together with any increments the member received when he or she left the Riksdag. During the first year, the guaranteed income is 80 per cent of the basis (members' pay plus increments). From the second year, the amount is reduced depending on the member's total number of years of service in the Riksdag. At most – after 12 years of service – the guarantee amounts to 66 per cent of the basis. From the sixth year the guaranteed income is calculated solely on the basis of the members' pay. If a former member has any other source of income, the guaranteed amount is reduced in accordance with certain rules. The guaranteed income is pensionable for the first five years. It does not entitle the recipient to earned income tax credit. Financial interests and commitments Members of the Riksdag are obliged to notify the Riksdag of their commitments and financial interests. These may for example include shareholdings, public assignments or other income-generating activities over and above their duties as an MP. The register of MPs' financial interests is public and the purpose is to create openness and transparency. Information in the register interests in companies, e.g., shareholdings in limited companies or shares in trading companies or economic associations assignments as a board member and auditing assignments public assignments in municipalities, county councils etc. various kinds of income-generating activities over and above their duties as an MP. These may include independent work as a farmer, doctor, lawyer, journalist etc. agreements of a financial nature in the form of salary or pension benefits ownership of commercial property economic benefits or secretarial or research assistance not paid for by central government funds, the MP's party or the MP him/herself. The register must be kept up to date All members of the Riksdag are obliged to register their interests and must ensure that the information they provide is kept up to date. Ordinary members and alternate members of the Riksdag who are to serve for more than three consecutive months are obliged to register their interests. They must do so within four weeks of starting their assignment. Members and alternate members of the Riksdag are also obliged to report any changes within four weeks of the changes occurring. Regulations regarding registration of members' commitments and financial interests are laid down in the Act concerning the registration of MPs' commitments and financial interests. Access to the register The register is managed by the Secretariat of the Chamber, but the documentation is kept by the Registrar's Office. Anyone wishing to access the register should contact the Registrar. Anyone who wishes to view received emails can contact the relevant ministry's Senior Registry Clerk.