Opposition women's rights rally 311.
(photo credit: Itzik Edri/Dover Kadima)
The retirement age for women will remain at 62 for at least the next six years,
after legislation submitted by more than a dozen lawmakers was approved in the
Knesset on Monday.
A combination of five different bills submitted by
some 14 Knesset members from across the political spectrum, the law comes in
direct contradiction to recommendations made earlier this year by the Finance
Ministry and backed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to raise the retirement
age for women starting next month.
Editorial: Women’s retirement
How to play retirement catch-up
The main goal of the Treasury was to
bring the age for women up to 67 so that it is in line with the retirement age
“At a time when women’s rights are being attacked this is a very
positive step,” commented MK Haim Katz (Likud), chairman of the Knesset
Committee for Welfare, Labor and Health.
Katz was among the Knesset
members that pushed for this measure.
After the bill was approved,
Steinitz spoke in the plenum calling the legislation a “triumph of populism over
“The Knesset has gone against any economic or employment
logic,” he said. “This is not the type of vote that will allow us to
maintain the achievements of economic growth and low unemployment.”
Treasury maintains that many other countries, which like Israel are members of
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, have begun a similar
process based on the rationale that the period during which a person receives a
pension is continually growing and therefore there is a need to find resources
to support that extra time.
However, women’s rights groups, who
celebrated the passing of the bill on Monday, have argue that major gender
inequalities currently exist in the workforce and the government has failed to
address these issues in any substantial sense. They believe that there needs to
be equality in the entire job market and not only at the age of retirement.
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