IDF seeks to torpedo retirement age deal

The agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the IDF would raise the retirement age of all IDF regular officers and NCOs from 45 to 50.

October 22, 2010 00:09
2 minute read.
Avihai Mandelblit

Avihai Mandelblit. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The IDF wants to reopen the agreement with the Ministry of Finance on raising the retirement age of IDF regular officers and NCOs, said IDF Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein a month ago. “Globes” has obtained a copy of the letter.

The IDF Advocate General says, “Serious legal difficulties have emerged from the summary on the model of regular military service… In view of these difficulties, a discussion should be held on the matter with the participation of the relevant legal parties.” Mandelblit said that his request was based on an article of the agreement, which stipulates that it “will be transferred to the legal counsel of the Ministry of Finance and the IDF… The legal disagreements, if any, will be sent to the Attorney General for resolution.”

The agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the IDF, reached in August 2010 after 18 months of intensive negotiations, raises the retirement age of all IDF regular officers and NCOs from 45 to 50, beginning in 2029.

They also agreed that the minimum age for retirement for non-combat soldiers, except for those in the technology units and special groups, will be 48 beginning in 2020. The minimum age for retirement for combat troops will stay unchanged at 42.

Marathon talks were held during September on the final wording of the chapter that deals with the raising of the IDF retirement age in the economic arrangements bill for 2011-12, but the IDF was unable to make material changes in the wording, and the bill was sent to the Knesset yesterday.

The Ministry of Finance is now worried about reopening the bill and claims that its fate is now also in the hands of the Knesset committees.

Mandelblit devotes a long sentence in the 14-page document to arguments for and explanations about his request.

He says, “Negotiations were conducted under a tight timetable, in which the legal parties did not participate.” In addition, “The unique status of IDF regular officers and NCOs, who do not have a workers committee to represent them, and do not enjoy the benefits and protection set out in collective labor law, justify scrupulous and meticulous review of matters relating to their rights.”

The IDF Spokesman said in response, “The agreement between the IDF and the Ministry of Finance on the new model for IDF regular officers and NCOs states that the summary will be sent to the IDF Advocate General and to the Ministry of Finance, and that any legal disagreements will be brought before the Attorney General for resolution.

“In the opinion of the IDF Advocate General, a number of serious legal difficulties that are liable to develop have been raised before the IDF turned to the Attorney General with regard to the transition arrangements for implementing the agreement.

“As a result of this approach and the legal review, a bill to anchor the agreement has been formulated, and the IDF is, of course, ready to execute it.”

Mandelblit also pointed out an additional problem: the minimum age set out is lower than expected, and does not allow for starting a second career.

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