Albert Einstein was wrong. He once said: “The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” But even I understand them – they are out to get as much of my hard-earned money as possible. To this end they are aided and abetted by another, easily understood, group: the pension funds.
A long time ago I joined a pension fund. As a new member I did not ask the fund to fill in a lot of forms. I did not ask the fund to prove that it knew how to look after my money. At the start of each new year I did not ask the fund if it was still there. I just gave them my money, which they were happy to take.
I am now several years into retirement; I am a pensioner. My pension fund, that should be looking after me, does everything in its power to reduce and delay its monthly payments. At the start of each year I am expected to fill in Tofes 101. This on-line form, that asks for information that the fund has had time and time again, is never ready in time. The year is several weeks old before the website allows me to fill in and send the Tofes 101.
In my 50 years in Israel, I made the mistake of working for more than one company. I now receive pensions from two different sources. This requires a Tium Mas (coordination of income tax).
Tium Mas is the authorization by the Income Tax Authority to one or more pension funds as to how much income tax is to be withheld by each fund. Without a Tium Mas, each pension fund will withhold income tax at the highest rate. Although I need this authorization every year, it is not given automatically, I have to ask for it. And this can only be done sometime in late January.
This means, of course, that most of my pension for January and February will be taken as tax. I will, eventually, get it back but only after jumping through several hoops. As my hoop jumping days are over, I have to pay a Tax Advisor to jump for me.
It is sad that the pension funds find it necessary to prey on the weaker members of society in order to maximize their profits. Every day that they can put off paying me is one more day that my money is working for them, not me. In the meantime, I have to explain to the supermarket why I can’t pay my bill now, but must use my credit card’s expensive credit facility.
I apologize to my readers who will have to read this same blog again next year, and the next and ………