Membership fee and membership

The VR membership fee is 0,7% of total wages. Employers pay a matching grant to the union – see more here (in Icelandic only). Membership fee is collected by LV – the Pension Fund of Commerce – see more here (in Icelandic only).

Payments to the Pension fund are 4% from the member and 10% by the employer. The member can pay 2-4% to a personal pension fund, the employer’s matching grant is 2%. The Rehabilitation fund is 0,10% which is based on wages and paid into the pension fund that the wage earner pays to.

VR membership fee and payments to funds

Members are entitled to:

  • information about rights and responsibilities,
  • assistance with interpreting wage agreements,
  • assistance with employment contracts,
  • assistance with calculations of wages and collection,
  • assistance in the case of a dispute in the work place,
  • legal assistance relating to wage terms,
  • grants for preventions, insurance and rehabilitation,
  • subsidy of studies and courses,
  • access to vacation cottages (in the 21st year of age).
  • insurance during illness through the VR Sick Pay fund*

*NB. According to Art. 9.4. of the VR Sick Pay fund regulation, members can however not create rights for themselves to the fund with VR membership fees paid from unemployment benefits or parental leave payments, unless they were verifiably members of VR at the time of losing their job and they applied for unemployment benefits.

VR membership

Although VR is primarily a wage earners’ union, others are given the opportunity to become members of it. Those who retire from the work market due to unemployment or disability can remain members in which case membership fees are deducted from their benefit payments.

Those who retire at the age of 67 years or older and have been full members for 5 years consecutively before their retirement are considered full elder members for the rest of their lives. 5 consecutive years are considered paid when membership fees have been delivered for at least 50 months throughout a 5-year period.

Members who retire at the age of 65 years and have been full members for 5 consecutive years before they retire have permission to pay a membership fee to VR from pension payments until the age of 67 years to maintain full rights after that.

Those who leave employment temporarily due to studies or illness can make use of their acquired rights upon returning, according to further detailed rules.

Independently working, i.e. those who must estimate their calculated remuneration according to tax authorities’ decision, as well as those who are registered as wage earners in their own company, can be members of VR. They must remit all payments and fees to LV – the Pension Fund of Commerce. As those who are independent workers and/or family members of an economic operator are considered to have a dominant position, their fees must always be paid and up to date if services are sought to VR or rights to the union’s funds. For further information, please contact the VR service center via telephone number 510 1700 or by e-mail to vr@vr.is.

What is the minimum membership fee?

To see the minimum membership fee, choose a month

Minimum membership fee

To gain full membership rights, a monthly membership fee must be paid (0,7% of total wages). It must not be lower than the equivalent of 0,3% of starting wages for 18 years old shop workers, according to the VR pay rates as they are at each time. The membership fee changes therefore in accordance with negotiated changes of VR’s pay rates. When a minimum membership is referred to, it is based on the fee for the total of one year or the 12 previous months (see above, minimum membership fee on a one-year basis).

Members who have not reached the minimum membership fee are entitled to assistance with wage terms and rights to the union’s funds in proportion to payments. To maintain full membership in VR, membership fee payments must be made regularly. If no membership fee is paid for three months consecutively, the respective individual falls off the membership registry. A full membership can be regained from the month of the next membership payment if the minimum membership payment is reached during the 12 previous months.

Those who retire at the age of 67 years or older and have been full members for 5 years consecutively before they retire are considered full elder members for the rest of their lives. 5 consecutive years are considered paid when fee payments have been made for at least 50 months during a 5-year period.

VR membership of disabled people

According to Art. 3 of the VR regulation, people with disabilities are permitted to pay a 0,7% membership fee from their disability benefits which go to the union’s funds to ensure their rights to the funds. The conditions which a person with disabilities must fulfil to acquire these rights is that he/she has been a VR member for 5 years consecutively before the disability and that annual membership fee payments from disability benefits reach the minimum membership fee at each time. However, this only applies to disability benefits that are paid by pension funds which offer mediation to submit membership fees to unions.

Further information at the VR service center via telephone number 510 1700 or by e-mail to vr@vr.is.