Over half of Israelis believe that the government should change the law stating that the public sector’s mandatory retirement age is 67 years old, according to a survey conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group for Vehadarta, the National Council for Advancing the Status of the Elderly in Israel.

According to the survey, which focused on the public’s views regarding senior citizens’ integration into the labor force in Israel, about half of respondents also said they would prefer working past the age of 67.

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Some 11 percent reported they prefer a solution that would allow them to work less when still young but continue to have a job past the current retirement age.

In addition, about 63.5% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that older people are more skilled and are an asset to their workplaces.

Among those aged 35 to 54, 59.6% support changing the retirement age law, as do 56.4% of those aged 55 and older.

“It is encouraging to see that the younger generation appreciates and values the contributions of the older generation to the labor force,” director-general of Vehadarta Rivi Beller said in a statement.

Beller added that a “right combination” of the elderly in the labor force alongside young people at the start of their careers could “benefit both sides and enhance results in the workplace.”

“Young people can gain from the experience of the elderly, and conversely they can contribute to them with their skills in technology and other areas, which will facilitate the integration of seniors in the workplace,” she explained. “The employer will benefit from this the most.”

“It is time that decision makers in Israel wake up and realize that taking people over the age of 67 out of the labor force harms the interests of the State of Israel,” Beller added.

The survey is expected to be presented at a conference about senior citizens’ contribution to Israeli society, which will take place at Tel Aviv University on Thursday in the presence of President Shimon Peres, Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen and Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach.

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