Bituah Leumi expert: BL payments from abroad?

Vol LXI: I am going to be leaving Israel for at least 5 years, maybe more, and I might not return at all. What do I do about Bituach Leumi payments? If I let them lapse what are the consequences if/when I return?

By
January 6, 2008 15:45
Bituah Leumi expert: BL payments from abroad?

bituah leumi 88. (photo credit: )

Sarah Gargi is director of the Publications Department in Research and Planning Administration at the head office of the National Insurance Institute, Jerusalem.


If you are interested in receiving a free copy of "Your Rights at the National Insurance Institute" (in English), offering a concise description of social security programs, definitions, conditions of entitlement, and rates of payment, please email your request; include your name and mailing address.
Click here to send us your questions for Sarah, please include month and year of birth, year of immigration and marital status. NOTE: Sarah can only answer questions of a general nature. For specific cases, contact the Public Enquiries Dept. at btlfeed@nioi.gov.il, or call *6050. Make sure to supply your ID number. For general information see the NII web site most information is on the site in English as well.
  • For Red Tape resources Click here.
  • For Vols I to XIII Click here.
  • For Vols XIV to XXX Click here.
  • For Vols XXXI to XXXIX Click here.
  • For Vols XL to XLIV Click here.
  • For Vols XLV to XLVIII Click here
  • For Vols XLIX to LI Click here
  • For Vols LII-LIII Click here
  • For Vols LIV-LV Click here
  • For Vols LVI-LVII Click here
  • For Vols LVIII-LIX Click here
    * * * Vol LXI Q: I have been asked by a pensioner, intending to make Aliyah, what the bituach leumi + mas briut position is. I managed to find the contribution rates on the BL website, but no indication of what income these applied on (presumably, pensioners will generally live off passive income), and whether there was any age at which contributions stopped. A: The contribution rates apply to income from pension from work, with the exception of persons who have reached the "retirement age" (varies for men and for women and according to month and year of birth; see tables on site), widows receiving a survivors' or dependents' pension from the NII, severely disabled persons and housewives. Recipients of an NII old-age pension pay only health (not national) insurance contribtuions, deducted at source from their pensions. There is no age where these contributions stop. Q: After nineteen years, I went back to Argentina for nine months. Before leaving, I renounced my job. Now, back in Israel, I was told I am not entitled to Bituah Leumi unemployment, although I continued paying bituah Leumi/Health on my own during the nine months. Since finding a job may take some time, I would like to check if there is are regulations from Bituah Leumi to help people in my condition. A: A person not entitled to unemployment benefits (generally because he has not accumulated the minimal "qualifying period" - period of work during which national insurance contributions were paid), may possibly be entitled to an income support benefit from the NII, on condition that: 1) he is registered at the labor exchange as a job-seeker, and the labor exchange has no work for him, and 2) his income from all sources is lower than the minimum level determined in the law. Q: I've been an Israeli resident for 13 years. I am going to be leaving Israel for at least 5 years, maybe more, and I might not return at all. What do I do about Bituach Leumi payments? If I let them lapse what are the consequences if/when I return? A: If you are leaving Israel for at least 5 years, perhaps not to return, it would be advisable to discontinue your NII payments, since in any case after such a period of absence from Israel the NII will cease considering you an Israeli resident. (Residence, and not citizenship, is the basis of coverage - rights and obligations - under the national insurance system) The consequence if/when you return is that you will have a waiting period of two months for every year of absence from the country, during which you will not be entitled to receive health services from the sick funds in Israel (maximum waiting period as of now is 14 months.) It is possible to redeem this waiting period by paying a one-time sum of NIS 8,730 by credit card, through the NII web site (www.btl.gov.il). Six months after this payment is made, one is entitled to health services, so that if you make the payment 6 months before coming back to Israel, you will be entitled to health services upon arrival. Q: I am a French citizen (not Jewish) with an A5 visa. I am working in Israel in high-tech since May 2006. I would like to know if I have to pay the Bituah Leumi. It seems that currently I am paying less than a Israeli  in a situation equivalent to mine A: The employer is obligated to set aside national and health insurance contributions from your salary, and to pay his part for you, the same as for all his employees Q: We are thinking of making aliya. My husband is 61 years old now, left Israel 28 years ago but is still an Israeli citizen. I'll be a new immigrant on aliyah with 2 kids. If we make aliyah, will my husband be insured medically even when he gets to pension age? If/ when he gets to Israel he will be about 62 and he will then pay bituach leumi and gets medical insurance, but when he hits about 67 pension age is he still due to medical benefits? What about his family? A: Your husband will have the status of a returning resident. A resident of Israel who returns to the country on March 1, 2003 or thereafter, following a period of absence of two consecutive years or longer (during which he did not pay health insurance contributions to the NII) is not entitled to receive health services from the sick funds in Israel for two months for every such year of absence since 2002. This is called the waiting period (maximum waiting period as of now is 14 months.) It is possible to redeem this waiting period by paying a one-time sum of NIS 8,730 by credit card, through the NII web site (www.btl.gov.il). Six months after this payment is made, one is entitled to health services, so that if your husband makes the payment 6 months before coming to Israel, he will be entitled to health services upon arrival. However, this is in theory only, because he will have to report to his NII local branch (should do so as soon as possible after arrival) and wait another 6 months before his Israeli residence is determined (retroactively) - and only then can he register at a sick fund. (If he has redeemed the waiting period, he should save receipts of medical expenses and may be entitled to reimbursement). Q: I am trying to get a definitive answer as to whether my elderly mother, who is resident in Israel, would be entitled to continue to receive pension payments from the State of Israel if she were to retain her Israeli citizenship, but live abroad for a while. Can you assist me with finding a conclusive answer to this question? A: As a general rule, the NII continues to pay the regular old-age pension to a person abroad (if he/she began receiving the pension in Israel) for six months, and the special old-age benefit - for one month. There is a bilateral Convention between Israel and the United Kingdom regarding social security benefits, and therefore your mother may be entitled to continued payment of the old-age pension (beyond six months), depending on whether her case fulfills the conditions of the Convention. You should contact her local NII branch, providing your mother's ID number, and her continued eligibility abroad will be examined. You could also try one of the two organizations in the UK reponsible for implementing the Convention: 1. The Pension Service International Service Newcastle upon Tyne England NE 98 1BA 1. Inland Revenue Centre for non-residents Benton Park View Newcastle upon Tyne NE98 1ZZ, England Q: I recently returned to Israel. I was away for six years. I was attending  school in America. Since then I never paid Bituah Leumi. Now I'm here. What is recommended for me to now to avoid a bureaucratic problems. Also what happened to my residential status? Please let me know what I should do.  A: You should report as soon as possible to your local NII branch (can see details of local branches on our site: www.btl.gov.il) - to the Dept. of Insurance. There you will be asked to fill out a form to reinstate your residency status. This is a process that generally takes 6 months, after which you are recognized as a resident retroactively. Health insurance: A resident of Israel who returns to the country on March 1, 2003 or thereafter, following a period of absence of two consecutive years or longer (during which he did not pay health insurance contributions to the NII) is not insured for health services from the sick funds in Israel for two months for every such year of absence since 2002. This is called the waiting period. Since you were away for 6 years, you will have a waiting period of 12 months to receive health services. (You could have redeemed this waiting period by paying a one-time sum of NIS 8,730 by credit card, through the NII web site 6 months before coming to Israel, and then been entitled to health services upon arrival.) In the meantime you can either purchase private insurance or pay for health services needed. Q: Good day! I want to know if I have a right to claim maternity leave even though my employer doesn't pay my national insurance. I worked for 10 months and I have a salary report...My parner is Israeli and we are living together as live-in partners A: Every employer is obligated to pay national and health insurance contributions for all his employees. (In your case it could be that a manpower company paid the contributions for you.) Furthermore, every woman who gives birth is entitled to maternity leave. Regarding payment of the maternity allowance, you should check at your local NII branch if you fulfill all the conditions of entitlement. Q: My husband and I made aliyah on August 8, 2006. My husband was born on Jan 21, 1943 (He was 63 when we made aliyah) I was born on March 3, 1948 (I was 58 when we made aliyah). We were recently notified that we both had to make payments (to National Insurance), his payments are 97NIS per month and mine are 138NIS per month. We were told that he is too old to be entitled to an old-age pension, but that he is still required to make payments. Is this correct?  Also, since I did not start making payments until December of 2007, will I be able to receive an old-age pension? A: Since your husband was born before June 1944 and came to Israel after the age of 60, he is not eligible for the regular old-age pension from the NII - but may be eligible for the special old-age benefit (subject to an income test). It is correct that he is still required to make payments. You will be able to receive an old-age pension at the age of 62 (subject to an income test) or at age 68 and 8 months (without income test). There is no connection between the obligation to pay insurance contributions (all Israeli residents) and the eligibility for various benefits (according to the conditions of eligibility for each specfic benefit). Q: My brother and sister in law are living in Israel on Tourist visas. They signed up for Meuchedet and were told that they did not need any additional coverage. Now someone told them that they have to also pay bituach leumi. Is that true? A: People who are on tourist visas are not Israeli residents (unless they specifically request Israeli residency) and therefore not insured under the National Insurance system. If they want to be insured by one of the sick funds in Israel, their agreement is solely with that particular sick fund; they do not pay through the NII. * * * Vol LX Q: My disabled son receives Bituah Leumi money, and it is deposited into a joint bank account between my spouse and me,since my son is a minor. Recently a lien was put on the account due to my husband's bankruptcy, however since the only money that goes into the account is my son's bituah leumi funds  which I was told can't be touched what can I do, since they did remove my son's btuah leumi money? They also informed me that since my name was on the account I can't open a separate account for my son's money either! Can you help at all, any suggestions? I am desperate, since my son relies on that money for his school and medications! A: Contact your local NII branch and tell them that you wish to open a special account (in Hebrew: חשבון מכוון) at the Postal Bank. Q: Shalom, in 1975 I immigrated to Israel from Ukraine with my family. I was born in may 1948. I worked in the country from the end of 75 till February of 1982.I contributed to bituah leumi. My question is I will soon be moving back to Israel and i was wondering if I will be eligible for pension since i did contribute for almost 7 years. Toda. A: General: Rights and obligations under the National Insurance Law are only to residents of Israel. The money you paid to the National Insurance Institute covered you for the period that you were living in Israel (similarly to the case with private insurance). You are no longer considered an Israeli resident, and therefore are not obliged to pay NII contributions, nor are you entitled to benefits. If you decide to return to Israel and are granted the status of a returning resident, you will again be covered by national insurance. Old-age pension: In order to be eligible for the regular old-age pension, you need 5 years of work within the last 10 years preceding pensionable age (67 for you) or 12 years of work altogether (this includes the 7 you already had). As soon as you arrive in Israel you should contact your local NII branch to detemine your residency and to clarify your elgibility for the old-age pension. Also important: 6 months before returning to Israel you should pay the one-time payment of health insurance contributions through our internet site (www.btl.gov.il) so that you won't have to wait out the waiting period for receiving healths services in Israel. See our site for further explanations. Q: My husband (36 yrs old) and I (35 yrs old) are planning to move Israel in 2009, during the 60 year promotion. My husband is American and is planning on making Aliyah. I will be a returning resident. If I make the necessary payments to Betuach Leumi before I arrive, would I be eligible for health care immediately upon arrival? Are there certain types of treatments that are not available to returning residents? To be more specific, we would like to go under IVF treatments. A: Yes, if you make the one-time payment to the NII to redeem the waiting period for health services (by use of a credit card, through our site: www.btl.gov.il) six months before you arrive in Israel, than you will be eligible for health care immediately upon arrival. Once you are recognized as a returning resident by the NII (this usually takes 6 months, after which you are recognized as a resident retroactively from the time of your arrival), you are covered by all social security branches and liable for insurance contributions. The NII does not deal with IVF treatments at all. You should check that with the Ministry of Health or the sick fund of your choice. Q: I am 72 years old and live in the US since 1975, I have worked in Israel for Bank Leumi & El-Al for over 20 years. Can I get my Bituah Leumi I paid for all those years working in Israel? If so what form should I use to apply? A: Rights and obligations under the National Insurance Law are only to residents of Israel. The money you paid to the National Insurance Institute covered you for the period that you were living in Israel (similarly to the case with private insurance). You are no longer considered an Israeli resident, and therefore are not obliged to pay NII contributions, nor are you entitled to benefits. If you decide to return to Israel and are granted the status of a returning resident, you will again be covered by national insurance. Q: I made aliyah in 2004 and I am now leaving for a year or so. should I continue to pay my bituach leumi? if so, how can I do this? is there a way to have it taken monthly from my bank account? what forms do I need, where do I need to go, how much will it be each month? A: Yes, if you are leaving for a year or two and definitely planning to return to Israel, it is important to continue paying national and health insurance contributions to the National Insurance Institute. You should go to your local NII branch and notify them of your plans. You can pay by standing order from your bank or by leaving a name and an address in Israel to whom the NII can send the paybooks in your absence. The amount is about NIS 137 a month - but check this precisely with the NII branch. Q: I am not sure if this is the correct address for my question. I hope so. I lived in Israel for many years and taught in the Hebrew University and David Yelin Teachers College. I am  retired now and live in the United States. I receive a pension which is deposited monthly into my account in Bank Discount, Rehavia, Jerusalem. I have a Teudat Zehut. As is required, periodically, I sent a copy of it to the bank some months ago. Suddenly, I was notified by the bank that my pension money cannot be released because my Teudat Zehut number does not have the additional number seven (7) at the end which was added to all the Teudot numbers. I was advised that I have to return to Israel to get an updated Teudat Zehut. I am writing to inquire if there is a way that this can be done here in the United States. Thank you. A: You can arrange registration of a teudat zehut at any Israeli consulate abroad. Q: Dear Sarah, I have only 3 questions. Born 05.11.71, year of aliyah 2000, single 1. Currently fully employed, am I eligible for fertility treatment in the framework of the national insurance? 2. Say, I'm planning to leave Israel for a year or two and then want to return. I understand I must pay a monthly fee of about 130 shekels in my absence. What does this amount exactly cover? would it cover fertility treatment? 3. After how many minimum working years in Israel will i  be eligible for retirement payment? Thank you for your time A: 1. The National Insurance Institute does not deal with or provide fertility treatments. 2. This amount constitutes your compulsory national and health insurance payments to the NII. It guarantees your continuity of rights, so that when you return, you will continue to be entitled to health services and social security benefits as all residents. The NII does not provide health services; it only collects health insurance contributions and transfers the money to the sick funds. To find out about fertility treatment you should contact your sick fund or the Ministry of Health. 3. The minimum number of working years for eligibility for the old-age pension from the NII is five years out of the 10 years preceding pensionable age. Q: Is there an increase in pension if one waits until 70 to receive it? A: There are two possible increments to the pension if one waits to receive it: the seniority increment, which is 2% of the pension for each year of insurance after the first ten years of insurance, up to a maximum of 50% of the pension, and the deferred retirement increment, which is 5% of the pension for each year that the recipient was not eligible for the pension due to the amount of his earned income, up to age 70. Q: I was born in October 1946 and came on alliya in October 1986 (one week before my 40th birthday). I am married with 2 children (youngest is currently in the army). My husband is now retired and receives the maximum amount from bituah leumi plus a supplement because our son is in the army. I can start to get bituah leumi this summer (61 years and 8 months), but I have only worked 15 years in Israel. I plan to continue to work for another 2-3 years to increase my pension from work. My questions are: 1) how many years must I work in order to receive the maximum bituah leumi, 2) how much more do I receive for each year I work beyond my retirement age; 3) is there a maximum amount that a couple may receive from bituah leumi or is each person's bituah leumi payments considered separately? A: You have already accumulated the qualifying period necessary for entitlement to the old-age pension. For every additional year that you work you will be entitled to another 2% of the pension, up to a maximum of 50% of the pension. This is called the seniority increment. Furthermore, if you are not eligible for the pension at the conditional age (61 and 8 months, as you correctly indicated) due to high earned income, for every year that the pension is delayed due to your high income you are entitled to another 5% of the pension, up to age 68, the absolute age of entitlement for you (without income test). This is called the deferred retirement increment. Each person's pension is calculated separately according to his/her work period. https://b2b.btl.gov.il/b2b/framesetlogonanonymous.asp Send your comments >> Cafe Oleh experts have been chosen for their knowledge and reputation. Cafe Oleh does not take responsibility for any advice they offer.
    Cafe Oleh is the place where you can join in and be published. To send us your comments, article ideas, suggestions and community listings, click here. In the meantime, check out our comprehensive listings and calendar services.


  • Related Content

    Netanyahu walks with Harper
    September 10, 2012
    test with pnina

    By JPOST.COM STAFF

    Cookie Settings