The first step to choosing a pension is to determine what you need. For most workers, this is going to be a keren pensia mekifa but there are exceptions – namely those who make more than twice the average wage and need to pay into an additional fund, and some with insurance complications may need bituach menahalim or even just a simple kuppat gemel. In addition, depending on the kind of disability coverage you need, you may have to chose an option other than a keren pensia. Once you know what kind of fund you want, the next step is to choose the investment strategy and possible funds.
The next thing you do is contact either your insurance agent or the companies directly and see how good a deal you can get on fees. Each time a person tells you a number take down his name and contact information; you may need to call him back. As you call each provider, try to bargain him or her down on the charges. Pit one against the other and call back a provider and tell him that company X will only charge you Y and ask if his company can beat it. After a while, you’ll find that one company has offered you less in for deposits (hafkadot) and one will offer you less for accumulation (neches). Compare the fees and the funds and choose whichever option suits you best.
The next thing you’re going to need to do is set up your insurance within the pension. Make sure you choose the correct insurance option so that you’re not throwing out your money, nor under-insured in case of a catastrophe. You may need to buy additional disability insurance.
If you already have a pension and are choosing a new one, consider taking the balnce of the previous one with you, both to avoid restarting the clock on the 5 year period of excluding preexisting conditions on your insurance and also as a bargaining tool to get better fees. Note: If you are moving from a different kind of pension (ie bituach menahalim) carefully weigh the pros and cons (ie money designated for a lump sum, a fixed mekadem) before you move any money.
For anyone with health complications – it is a sad fact that companies will reject you based on your health background. In my experience insurance comapnies will not outright reject you, since doing so can result in a discrimination lawsuit; instead, they’ll bog you down with additional paperwork that they need. if you feel this is happening to you, either turn up the fire and fight or step away., but do not waste your time. If you work for a large company, there is a good chance that they have a heskem rabim (an agreement for large amounts of workers), which will allow you to join a pension company without filling out a health background form. If you find yourself in a corner, please call me or your insurance agent for guidance.
I know the process can be intimidating, but we’re talking about the biggest investment of your life. A few days of work now will save you hundreds of thousands of shekels in the future.
If you have any questions or are looking for help choosing a pension, please call me at 052-790-6824 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.