Over 300 retired employees of the Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem who took voluntary early retirement did not receive their monthly pension payment this month. The former nurses, administrative and other staff received no advance warning of the non-payment.
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For many of the retired workers this is their only means of support. Hadassah covers the payments to the workers who left voluntarily in various recovery programs − and they receive the monthly payments from Hadassah until they reach the official retirement age and begin receiving their regular pensions.
When the workers asked Hadassah about the missing payments this month, they were told the matter is being dealt with. But when they asked the Migdal Makefet fund, which manages the payments for the hospitals, they were told Hadassah had not transferred the money to the fund, so they could not be paid.
Meir Algrabli, 63, recently retired from Hadassah as part of the hospital’s recovery plan after 36 years working for the hospital. He said not only did he not receive his monthly pension payment, he also did not receive part of his severance pay. On Sunday, Algrabli and other retirees met with Hadassah director general Avigdor Kaplan. Algrabli said Kaplan made a few phone calls and promised they would receive the money within a few days, but the hospital’s salary department had no answers.
The union said the nonpayment will make other employees who considered taking early retirement as part of the new recovery plan reconsider. “People are afraid of being thrown out into the street without anything and without Hadassah honoring the agreements they made,” said the union.
Migdal Makefet said the address was Hadassah, and not the pension fund. “The money is not a contributory pension [plan] accrued in Migdal Makefet and the pension fund is not connected to the payments to Hadassah retirees,” a spokesperson for the pension fund said. “Hadassah hired the services of another management company owned by Migdal Operational Services only for its payment system to a group defined as Hadassah retirees, and the management company can pay the retirees only the money that Hadassah transfers for payment.”
The fund said last month it actually transferred more money to the retirees than it received from Hadassah.
Hadassah’s court-appointed trustee, attorney Asher Axelrod, said: “We have heard of the claim and it is being examined.”
Hadassah said it will ask the court through its trustees in the next few days to be allowed to pay the pensions. The problem affects a limited number of people, those who retired before reaching retirement age.