Knesset freezes women’s retirement age at 62

Law postpones 2-year increase in women's retirement age until 2017; Steinitz: law is “triumph of populism over common sense.”

Opposition women's rights rally 311 (photo credit: Itzik Edri/Dover Kadima)
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.
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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 for men.
“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 common sense.”
“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.”
The 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.