The goal: A successful exit for your retirement

Bank HaPoalim financial advice manager Orit Michael wants to ‘help the retiree and their family keep the standard of living to which they have become accustomed.’

ORIT MICHAEL. Bank HaPoalim makes pension consultation available to its Israelbased clients. Our consultants provide professional, reliable, and objective advice. (photo credit: ARIEL BASHOR)
ORIT MICHAEL. Bank HaPoalim makes pension consultation available to its Israelbased clients. Our consultants provide professional, reliable, and objective advice.
(photo credit: ARIEL BASHOR)
Training is taking place at Bank HaPoalim’s National Center for Financial Advice and Pension Planning at the Sasson Hugi Tower on the premises of the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. The new center will provide consultation services for retirement planning for salaried employees in Israel. This includes analyzing various income sources to which a person might have access, and in which money has been saved for the duration of their employment, such as pension funds, provident funds, managers’ insurance, and various payouts to which clients will be entitled once they leave their place of employment. All of this happens while taking into account the various aspects of taxation and decision-making regarding the ideal division of monthly pension payments and one-off payments.
“Retiring is one of the biggest changes in a person’s life,” explains Orit Michael, manager of the Financial Advice Department at the Bank HaPoalim branches, who has been with the bank for 24 years.
Why is special retirement planning even necessary?
At the time of their retirement, an employee has access to savings having been made on their behalf for the duration of the person’s employment. The retiree is required to make a number of decisions regarding areas such as taxation and the way in which they are to receive said payments. These are somewhere in the region of hundreds of thousands of shekels or even more.
It is worth bearing in mind that the decisions made at this stage are for the most part irreversible. It is therefore crucial to plan how this money – which is intended to help the retiree and their family ensure a life of dignity while keeping the standard of living to which the family has grown accustomed over the person’s working life – is handled. In the absence of correct and objective advice, the retiree and their family may make the wrong decisions resulting in losses of tens of thousands of shekels or even more with their future standard of living being affected.
What do the professionals at the bank suggest a person do who is 50 years old and looking to prepare for this stage in their life?
Initially, Bank HaPoalim will gather information for the financial file of the client from the financial clearing house. Once the information has been received, the client will be invited to a consultation meeting at which the various products used for saving up money for the client will be presented to them – pension fund, provident fund, managers’ insurance and so on, ideally.
In addition to this, the client’s needs at retirement age will be examined, including the situation of income at retirement age, ideally. Should a gap be identified, then the consultant will examine possible solutions together with the client to bridge the gap.
And once the client has reached retirement age?
At the time of retirement from work and upon receipt of Form 161 from the employer, we invite the client to a consultation meeting aimed at planning the retirement. This combines multiple services. The first service is acquaintance with the tax relief applicable to pension money. This is based on a professional understanding and in-depth knowledge of the attributes of the funds as well as the different taxation laws. This includes multiple alternatives for taxation of which the client may avail themselves.
The second service offered involves consultation and decision-making as to the way in which the money is received. This means the following: How much of the savings would the retiree like to receive in one-off payments made immediately upon the client’s retirement from work? How much of this is their monthly pension on which the retiree and their family shall live for the rest of their lives? This division is based on a correct examination of the needs of the client and their goals for the next few years, how the client estimates their way of life is going to be, what the client plans for themselves, for their partner, and their children.
This process will probably come with filling in an endless number of unfamiliar forms, also known as tofesologia [from the word tofes, meaning form].
Correct. This is why, at this stage, our consultants and our retirement planners assist the client in filling in this series of forms and to complete the processes with the assessing officer according to the decisions made at the consultation meeting.
What is the difference between the financial consultation service provided by the bank and that of a financial insurance agent?
Insurance agents are “affiliated;” they are not consultants. Financial advisers are not allowed to be affiliated with anybody managing financial savings, and this makes financial advisers completely objective. Moreover, a financial adviser receives the same payment from all institutions and will therefore not choose one institution over another. A financial insurance agent might have a business or economic connection with some of the institutions, thus changing the agent’s level of objectiveness.
Who is the consultation service of the bank provided to?
The service is provided to clients of all banks, and those who receive our consultation services need not be clients of Bank HaPoalim.
Any client who chooses to come to us will enjoy the best service available at our national center for financial consultation and pension planning based at Sasson Hugi Tower on the premises of the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. Alternatively, the service is available at one of our financial consultation and pension planning centers across the country.
The bank is not a tax adviser. The aforementioned solely contains information and general explanations. None of these constitute financial, investment or tax advice. Furthermore, none of the above should replace personal consultation in the framework of the law.
Pension planning
Retirement from work significantly changes a person’s life. During this period, we are required to make a number of complex decisions regarding the financial savings made during our working lives. The consultants at the center of financial advice and retirement planning at Bank HaPoalim are prepared to assist in making these decisions in the framework of professional and objective advice. This can help you save large sums of money during your retirement years. The Jerusalem Post, in cooperation with Bank HaPoalim, provides information focusing on the important decisions that need to be made ahead of your retirement, the challenges, and tips for correct management of your financial planning prior to retirement.