Bituah Leumi expert: Pension eligibility

Vol LXX: I am making aliyah in the next year or so. I am 58 and was told I'd be eligible for some sort of pension if I start work in Israel before I turn 60. Is this correct? Any information is appreciated.

bituah leumi 88 (photo credit: )
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 "National Insurance Programs in Israel" in English, last updated January 2008, offering a description of social security programs, definitions, conditions of entitlement, and rates of payment, please email your request; include your name and regular mailing address (NOT email address).
Click here to send us your questions for Sarah and please leave your comments on the Q&A below. NOTE: Sarah can only answer questions of a general nature. For specific cases, please call the Public Enquiries Dept. between 13.00 and 15.00, Sundays through Thursdays, at: 02-6709070 or call the national phone center at *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
  • For Vols LIX-LXI Click here
  • For Vols LXII-LXIV Click here
  • For Vol LXV Click here
  • For Vol LXVI - LXVII Click here
  • For Vol LXVIII - LXIX Click here
    * * * Vol LXX Q: I have lived in Israel since the age of 21 (40 years ago) although I worked in the UK from the age of 18, and several weeks of temporary work there over the years. I wrote to the UK Pension Office asking if I'm entitled to any kind of a pension from the UK. The answer was: "you are not entitled to a United Kingdom (UK) State Pension based upon your UK contributions alone. You are, however, entitled to a UK State Pension under the Anglo/Israeli Agreement." My question is whether this will affect the pension I receive from Bituach Leumi when I stop working and apply for it?? A: Depending on the month and year of your birth, you will reach the conditional age of entitlement to old-age pension at the age of 61 and 8 months or 62 (see table on our site below, under old age), and the absolute age of entitlement to pension at age 68. Between these two ages, your entitlement to pension as well as the amount of your pension is affected by any income that you may have. For more information, please see our site: Q: My sister worked in Israel for 20 years before moving back to the US in her 40s. Since she spent most of her working life here would she not be entitled to her old age payments? A: Entitlement to old-age pension and other benefits from the NII are based on residence in Israel. Residents of Israel alone have all the rights and obligations under national Insurance. Therefore, only a person who began receiving the old-age pension in Israel may continue receiving it abroad, under certain conditions. For more information, please see our site: Q: I have Israeli citizenship, my wife does not yet. We had to pay birth costs for our son since she doesn't have coverage yet. Is it possible to recoup birth costs and how would one go about doing it? A: Every Israel resident and wives of residents are covered for the hospitalization grant, to cover expenses of giving birth. Therefore even if only you are a resident, you should be covered. Check again with the hospital, and if you don't succeed there, contact the maternity department of your local NII branch. For more information, please see our site: Q: Are you aware of the new provisions in the "hok hahesderim" of 2008 which now requires both employed and unemployed to pay Bituach Leumi on passive income? Can you explain this new provision? A: The new provision, in effect as of January 2008, is quite complex and deals with a number of possibilities, but its main essence is as follows: It states that income not from work will be subject to insurance contributions, whether or not this income is more than or equal to income from occupation or work wages. The provision also states that a monthly income of up to 25% the average wage, which is not from occupation or work wages ("passive income"), including income of persons who do not meet the definition of "self-employed", will not be taken into account and is not liable for insurance contributions (except for income from pensions). Only such income that is over 25% the average wage is liable for contributions (previously, passive income was liable only if it was equal to or higher than one's active income). Q: I am making aliyah in the next year or so. I am 58 and was told I'd be eligible for some sort of pension if I start work in Israel before I turn 60. Is this correct? Any information is appreciated. A: If you are unmarried and immigrate to Israel at age 57 or over, you are exempt from the qualifying (work) period for entitlement to old-age pension. If you are a housewife (married to an insured person and you do not work outside your household), you need 5 years of residence out of the 10 years preceding your age of entitlement to old-age pension (70) in order to be entitled to pension, or a combination of periods of residence and periods of insurance. If you work, you need a qualifying period of 60 months within the last 10 years preceding pensionable age,or 144 months altogether. All the above applies to the regular old-age pension. A person who does not fulfill the conditions of entitlement to the regular pension may be eligible for a special old-age benefit (at the same rate), according to means test. For more information, please see our site: Q: We made Aliyah in 2004. I'm receiving Old Age benefits plus an Income Supplement for a family of 4. What's the minimum stay in Israel after making Aliyah to receiving these benefits in the US? A: A person who begins receiving the old-age pension in Israel may generally continue receiving the pension (to a bank account in Israel) after he moves to the United States, but he must send a Certificate of Life annually to his local NII branch in Israel. This does not apply to the income supplement, which may be denied in accordance with the number of trips abroad and the duration of one's stay abroad. For more information, please see our site: * * * 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.