The Bottom Line / Time to finish what was started
Supervisor of Insurance Eyal Ben Chelouche decided to require insurance companies to identify unclaimed life insurance policies and return the monies to the policyholders' heirs. Ben Chelouche believes the companies have tens of millions of unclaimed payouts in their coffers.
Supervisor of Insurance Eyal Ben Chelouche decided to require insurance companies to identify unclaimed life insurance policies and return the monies to the policyholders' heirs. Ben Chelouche believes the companies have tens of millions of unclaimed payouts in their coffers. However, insurance sector sources are convinced the numbers are much higher and could amount to hundreds of millions of shekels.
This was caused by a number of factors: loss of contact between the insurance companies and the policyholders or their heirs, the computerization problem, and poor reporting over the years, as well as policyholders who neglected to monitor their assets.
But there is another cause that makes it difficult for the insured to track their assets, and it stems from supervisor of insurance regulations. If a policyholder leaves a place of employment and ceases to make deposits in an executive insurance policy, making deposits with a new company via his new employer, the supervisor's instructions do not allow him to withdraw the accrued compensation from the old policy. He can redeem the funds and pay 35 percent tax, so many avoid the tax payment and leave the monies in place until their retirement. The fine is because the treasury grants tax benefits to those who save for retirement, so those who withdraw the funds early are no longer eligible.
We can now guess what will happen to the monies accrued by young workers in their first or second jobs. In most cases, it is a few thousand or maybe tens of thousands of shekels - peanuts in comparison to the total compensation saved throughout an average person's career. As a result, many policyholders forget these old, small funds. In many cases, the insurance companies and agents benefit as the money stays in the company coffers and the agent keeps getting commissions on it.
There is logic in collecting tax on early policy withdrawal, but the present system may mean that savers who agree to leave their funds with a company until retirement lose the cash, due to poor reporting, loss of contact with the company or agent, or just plain old neglect.
The proper way to solve the problem is to allow the insured to centralize all their pension payment funds in a single active insurance policy and simplify the transition from policy to policy.
The option does exist today, but the transition involves paying fines, lower withdrawal values, and various human obstacles in the form of the insurance agents who are not about to help the policyholder leave and take his commission-value with him. In order to finish what Ben Chelouche started, an organized procedure must be created to transfer monies in an orderly fashion from company to company, with no tax and no fine.
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