moshe gafni 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset Finance Committee discussed on Tuesday the possibility of raising
the retirement age for women, but did not bring the decision, which most
committee members oppose, to a vote.
A number of MKs, from both the
opposition and the coalition, have drafted legislation to freeze women’s
retirement age at 62, in defiance of the Finance Ministry’s original
recommendation to increase the age to 67 in stages.
One such bill, by MKs
Ilan Gilon (Meretz) and Haim Katz (Likud), passed its first Knesset reading last
week, and the Welfare, Labor and Health Committee will prepare it for second and
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz suggested that the age of
retirement rise from 62 to 64 as a compromise on the two proposals, and asked
the Finance Committee to authorize his proposal.
Committee chairman Moshe
Gafni (UTJ) asked Finance Ministry representative Eyal Epstein to present
further information about the ramifications of the change, and the committee
will bring the matter to a vote next week.
At the same time, Gafni
explained, all of the committee’s members oppose the move.
Deputy Bank of
Israel President Karnit Flug said that the retirement age for women in most
countries in the world is 64.
According to Flug, only three other OECD
states – Turkey, Poland and Sweden – have a lower retirement age for women, and
raising the age has increased women’s participation in the market in other
However, MK Ruhama Avraham- Balila (Kadima) interrupted her,
saying, “Older women can’t find work. We need a plan to remove whatever is
blocking women’s employment.
The picture is incomplete, and there are
According to MK Faina Kirschenbaum (Israel Beiteinu),
“the Finance Ministry stopped paying attention to people, and only sees numbers,
but the numbers tell a sad story: the intolerable gap [between men’s and
women’s] salaries, and high unemployment among older women.”
that “the employment market was not prepared for an older retirement age, but
the Finance Ministry wants to save money at the expense of Israeli women. If the
retirement age is raised, women will find themselves unemployed and unable to
receive a pension or an unemployment allowance.”
The Israel Beiteinu MK
said that the Finance Committee “will not allow the retirement age to be raised
by even one day.”
Gafni, meanwhile, asserted his committee’s authority to
decide the matter.
“I sat with Finance Ministry officials,” he said.
“This is a topic that needs to be taken care of, and there will be a war between
the Finance Ministry’s legal advisers and this committee over who has the
authority to decide – but in the end, we will decide.”