Knesset panel advances increased allowances for elderly

Income supplements for the elderly are paid under the guaranteed income law as additions to old age pensions.

November 14, 2016 16:49
1 minute read.
Elderly Israelis vote

Elderly Israelis wait for their turn to vote . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Knesset Labor, Wealth and Health Committee approved on Monday an increase in income support allowances to people who have reached retirement age.

“This will strengthen the weakest populations,” committee chairman Eli Alalouf said.

Income supplements for the elderly are paid under the guaranteed income law as additions to old age pensions.

Until now, elderly income supplements were NIS 2,980 for recipients up to the age of 70 years, NIS 3,040 for those between ages 70 and 80 and NIS 3,150 for those aged 80 and above.

The new amendment will increase the supplements to NIS 3,112 up to age 70, NIS 3,140 between the ages of 70 and 80 and NIS 3,211 for those aged 80 and above.

“For an elderly citizen to be able to work without harming his pension entitlement, he can now earn NIS 140 more than the amount that was fixed today, without hurting his entitlement,” Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, head of the National Insurance Institute, said at the committee meeting.

Mor-Yosef added that the amendments, which are estimated at NIS 400 million, could increase elderly allowances by NIS 300 to 500 without hurting a person’s eligibility for income support.

The Knesset committee also voted on Monday to gradually eliminate restrictions on elderly allowances, so that by the year 2020, pensions will be calculated starting with a person’s first year of employment, not only after 10 years, as was the case to date.

The new law will be especially beneficial for new immigrants and homemakers who return to the labor market, enabling them to receive an additional oldage pension of up to NIS 750 per month.

The law will be gradually phased in until full implementation in 2020.

“These are beautiful days when we aim to improve the situation of elderly new immigrants,” Mor-Yosef said. “In Israel, there are some 495,000 elderly who will benefit from this amendment.”

He estimated that the amendment would cost some NIS 1.4 billion and emphasized that other benefits for the elderly would not be cut due to the new law.

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