Everything You Wanted To Know About Fi-Core But Were Afraid To Ask

By Jeff Hatch


So, maybe you've heard about this "Fi-Core" thing and have no idea what it's all about or how it might benefit, or harm you, as a working actor. Maybe you've heard just one or two things, but the only information you’ve gotten is from a pro-Core blog, or an anti-FC source like SAG-AFTRA’s website. Maybe, like me, you've gathered bits and pieces from both sides and found that much of what's out there is guesswork, partisan distortions, one-sided ranting and only a kernel of useful, objective information here and there. It is my hope with this article, to separate the facts from the assumptions and half-truths, to explain what Financial Core is, why it exists, and to give a balanced assessment of the pro and con arguments. I will also try to address all the questions, from the most basic to the more nuanced, that you need answered in order to make an informed decision as to whether the Fi-Core option is right for you.

Note: I want to make clear, this article is meant to be no more and no less than my analysis and opinion of all the information I've been able to gather on the subject. I make no claim to be an authority on all the legalities surrounding this complex workers’ rights issue. I merely claim to have a pretty darn well-informed opinion. I've read through literally dozens of articles, websites, discussion boards and blogs that offer facts, opinions and advice on the issue, but each one I've seen merely answers a few select questions or offers a handful of cherry-picked facts and some slanted analysis. I’ve not been able to find a source on line that objectively examines all the angles, so I attempted to write one. My goal is to pull everything I've found together in one article to help actors make the most informed decision they can, to tie it all together and make this the most comprehensive examination of the Fi-Core issue available to actors on line. So let's get to it. The first and most obvious question for the uninitiated is: What is Financial Core?

This is the introduction to a series of questions and answers regarding Financial Core for SAG-AFTRA members. Jump to a question:

Intro: Everything You Wanted To Know About Fi-Core But Were Afraid To Ask

What is Financial Core?

Why Would A SAG-AFTRA Actor Want To Go Fi-Core?

Why Would An Actor NOT Want To Choose Fi-Core? What Are The Consequences?

What Does The Union Say About Fi-Core And What Are The Arguments For It?

Is There Really A Stigma Against Fi-Core Actors In The Industry?

Will I Lose My Pension And Benefits?

Right To Work And Fi-Core Permanence

What If I'm SAG-AFTRA And Just Take Non-Union Gigs 'Under The Radar?'

How Many Fi-Core Members Are There?

Fi-Core And The SAG-AFTRA Merger

Does SAG-AFTRA Offer More Detailed Information About Financial Core?

How Would I Go About Getting On Fi-Core Status?

Is The Financial Core Option Right For Me?

References And Resources

About Jeff Hatch

Jeff Hatch trained as a theatre actor in college and conservatory programs and appeared in regional and local theatre in Southern California, Utah and Arizona before pursuing Film and Television in LA. He has worked in several TV, Film and Commercial projects over the past 10 years. He has recently booked several roles in independent feature films, shorts, a prime-time network comedy, a daytime soap and multiple re-enactment documentary programs. Read more about Jeff on IMDb.

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