Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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22 Tammuz 5772 - July 12, 2012 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Major Step in Avoiding Pitfall of Interest

By Yechiel Sever

The announcement of the establishment of an encompassing pension/retirement plan, Glatt Hon, was met with great joy and satisfaction by the foremost rabbonim and dayanim of the country's botei din.

Ever since the public was aroused regarding halachic problems involving saving plans, resulting from letters of rabbonim last year concerning various funds, the public has awaited the establishment of a fund for retirement and pensions that adhere to all the halachic guidelines and strictures so that it be `kosher lemehadrin.' This need has been addressed through the new Glatt Hon fund.

A warning letter states the need for every person to examine exactly how his money is invested, since in recent years there has been a gradual change over from savings plans to administrative funds, which drastically changes the halachic status of the saver from the past, raising many problems. In the current version of these funds, monies deposited in the various savings plans — such as pension, retirement, insurance, mutual funds, education and others — remains the money of the depositor and all the investments made by the fund managers are on his behalf. In the past, the fund stood in between the depositor and the financial instruments that were bought. Now it is as if the depositor buys his share in the instruments directly.

Differing from the Hishtalmut Fund established a year ago, the establishment of this pension plan was more difficult because of the different structure of pension plans from insurance plans. The members of the committee had to find a special solution by exhaustive negotiations with several companies until they found the one which agreed to all of its conditions. In the end, the new pension and retirement fund is part of the Psagot company, one of the most solidly established companies in the economy.

The certification from Psagot for the establishment of the new fund was issued in two meetings of rabbonim. Participants were: HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ulman, HaRav Sariel Rosenberg, HaRav Asher Deutsch, HaRav Shevach Rosenblatt and HaRav Eliyahu Posen, while in the second meeting, the following rabbonim attended: HaRav Ezriel Auerbach, HaRav Tzvi Weber and HaRav Shalom Yosef Gelber.

The leading halachic authorities adjoining their signatures to the letter of rabbonim were HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, HaRav Nissim Karelitz and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.

HaRav Moshe Sternbuch wrote a letter stating: "Since the prohibition of interest is one of the most severe, surely the bulk of Jewry will invest only in this pension/retirement fund which is free of all question, under the auspices of Psagot. It is advisable for everyone to quickly transfer to this fund without hesitation or doubt [since it bears] the haskomoh of our Torah leadership. Whoever is circumspect will surely be blessed with all blessing, nachas, success and bountiful livelihood."


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