Question:

Does one who has a pension plan need to give ma’aser on the money before it is put in the plan or only when he uses the money?

Answer:

An employee need not give ma’aser at the initial stage on the money that his employer contributes to the pension fund, nor the money that the employee himself must pay into the plan. This is because the employee did not have the opportunity to use the money at this stage.

When he receives the money in his old age he will need to take ma’aser then.

However, money that the employee voluntarily contributes to the fund needs to be tithed at the initial stage because the employee had the right to use the money and he voluntarily chose to invest in the pension plan. Shulchan Aruch (249:1) rules that one must initially take ma’aser form money that is channeled into an investment, and later he must take ma’aser on the profit that is earned.

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