Bituach Leumi (The National Insurance Institute of Israel) is the body responsible for the payment of various pensions and allowances to those who are insured and eligible under the National Insurance Law. It is the equivalent of Social Security in the United States and Canada or National Insurance in the United Kingdom. All Israeli residents aged 18 or older must, under law, be covered with Bituach Leumi and are therefore obligated to pay general insurance and healthcare contributions.
According to Bituach Leumi, eligibility for insurance is determined according to residency in Israel and not citizenship. The definition of residency is whether or not your life is centered in Israel. Among the criteria for determining are:
- Your permanent place of residence (residing in Israel for minimally 183 days a year; cumulatively)
- Where your family is living
- Where your children are being educated
- Where is your primary place of work or study
In the eyes of Bituach Leumi therefore, even if you are residing in Israel on a student visa and have not officially made Aliyah, you can be considered a resident and be liable to pay insurance contributions.
You can continue to be considered an Israeli resident even if living abroad, on condition that the stay abroad is a temporary one (for example, for purposes of studies, a trip, a temporary job, etc.) and as long as the center of your life remains in Israel (see Travelling Abroad, below).
Bituach Leumi provides a wide range of services to every Israeli resident. Benefits available cover nearly every facet of life for Israeli residents.
For more information on benefits provided by Bituach Leumi, click here.
National and Health Insurance Contributions
Bituach Leumi collects National insurance contributions from all residents in accordance with their income and insurance status. Fines (and interest) are charged to those who do not pay on the date stipulated by law.
Bituach Leumi is also responsible for collecting health insurance contributions under the National Health Insurance Law. These contributions are then transferred to the various Kupot Cholim (health funds). All insured persons must be registered with one of the country’s Kupot Cholim and may choose which Kupah to join. The Kupah must provide all insured persons with a standard health basket as specified by law. For more information click here.
Health insurance contributions are mandatory for all residents regardless of age.
For information on when healthcare payments begin, see here.
The amount paid for National and health insurance contributions is calculated in accordance with the level of income from employment or from other sources; including foreign based income. Your employment status is also taken into account, for example:
- Salaried employee
- Self-employed person
- A person who does not work
For information about rates and amounts click here.
For more information on who is exempt from paying National contributions, see here.
Stipends and Pensions
The Bituach Leumi offers stipends for insured residents 18 years old until the age of retirement as stated by Bituach Leumi. Stipends include allowances for children, disability, unemployment, and elder care. Further stipends and information on eligibility can be found here.
The Bituach Leumi has recently changed the age of retirement for women.
You will find a table with how one’s birthdate affects the age of retirement for women here. Retirement age for men remains at 67.
An Oleh who first immigrated before the age of 62 for a man, or before retirement age for a woman, may be eligible for an old-age pension provided he or she meets the conditions of entitlement.
A man who first made Aliyah at the age of 62 and beyond or for a woman who made Aliyah after the age of retirement there is a special old age pension available. This special old age pension is a welfare-based pension; all worldwide passive income will be taken into account for eligibility. Please note that an application for this pension may be mailed to you automatically regardless of eligibility; we encourage you to discuss eligibility with a NBN advisor prior to submitting this application. For clarification and assistance please contact the NBN Answers Department at [email protected]
If you are an Israeli resident living abroad, you must continue to pay national and health insurance contributions. A delay in payments while abroad may cancel your eligibility to receive health services for several months. It is therefore important to continue paying insurance contributions even while abroad.
The Bituach Leumi will generally continue to regard you as a resident of Israel for the first five years after you move abroad. After these five years, you will be requested to prove that your stay abroad is still temporary and that the center of your life is still in Israel. For this purpose, you must fill out a questionnaire and attach it to a letter detailing your claims.
An Israeli resident who is temporarily living abroad, maintains their residency with the National Insurance Institute, and is liable to pay National and healthcare contributions according to their insurance status and incomes.
If you have been eligible for any special pensions through the Bituach Leumi and plan an extended travel abroad (3 months or more) we strongly suggest you make an appointment with your local Bituach Leumi office to understand if payments cease and how to reactivate upon your return to Israel.
For more information, click here.
If you moved overseas and ceased to be an Israeli resident, but subsequently returned to live in Israel, you must notify the nearest branch of the Bituach Leumi of your return. You will be required to fill out a questionnaire (to fill out the form click here) and to attach documentation showing that you have terminated the center of life overseas (sale of property or possessions, cancellation of insurance, termination of employment and so forth).
You will also be asked to provide documentation showing that the center of your life has moved to Israel (shipment of possessions to Israel, rental of an apartment, employment contract, registration of children in schools, and so forth). Bituach Leumi will check and determine your residency status. For more information click here.
Once recognized as a returning resident, you will be eligible for Bituach Leumi benefits and will have to pay the relevant contributions. However, to receive medical services under the National Health Insurance Law, you may have a waiting period of up to 6 months.
For more information, see here.
There is a possibility of redeeming the waiting period by paying the Bituach Leumi. For more information click here.
International Conventions on Social Security
The Bituach Leumi has signed international conventions to assure the protection of the social security rights of a person who moves from one country to another, and to avoid dual insurance payments by Israelis living and working abroad. For more information click here.
To call the Bituach Leumi main number, dial *6050. A 4 digit pin code will need to be provided for service. To order a pin code, see here. To set up a personal service account with Bituach Leumi (includes English translation) see here.