Fi-Core or "financial core" status is an option within the Screen Actors Guild allowing actors to work both union and non-union jobs.
Some in the industry say that it is becoming more common lately for actors to join Fi-Core than SAG-AFTRA. The reason being that in hard economic times, rates for jobs have to be reduced meaning that production companies can't afford the SAG-AFTRA Scale Rate for talent. With more and more very good voice over talent on the scene, it becomes easier for producers to choose from a great pool of non-Union talent for a lot less money.
As an actor being Fi-Core means you get the best of both worlds to some extent. However, SAG-AFTRA does not particularly like Fi-Core members. They only see them as 'Fee Paying Non-Members' of SAG and state that as a Fi-Core member you shouldn't market yourself as a SAG-AFTRA member. This means there can be a lack of support from them as well as certain jobs potentially not employing Fi-Core members.
The following excerpt is taken from Actor's Who Make Money:
"Some of the rights you lose when you declare financial core are:
• The right to vote in SAG elections
• The right to hold SAG office
• The right to use iActor, a web service run by SAG
• The right to represent yourself as SAG on your resume or on the Internet
• The right to call yourself a member of SAG or have a SAG card
• The right to re-join SAG without a formal hearing and without repaying the initiation fee
Some of the rights you gain:
• The right to work on non-union projects
• The continued right to work on SAG projects
• The right to pension and health if you qualify under SAG rules
In order to become Fi-Core with SAG, you must first join SAG. You pay your initiation fee, and start paying your dues. (Even after you turn in your card, you still have to pay your dues and fees. Your dues will be 5-10 percent less, however.) Pension and health is completely separate from the SAG office. Don’t worry about losing those benefits."
The 'To Fi-Core, or not Fi-Core' topic has been heavily discussed and debated for years so at IVG, we think it's up to you to research and decide what is best for you as an actor.