The Knesset approved a law that keeps the retirement age for women at 62, on Monday. The bill passed its second and third reading in the plenum, and will remain valid until 2017.

Under this newly authorized law, a change in the retirement age for women, from 62 to 64, will be deferred until 2017. The law guarantees that the National Insurance Institute Law will be adjusted so that women who reach the age of 62 during the next five years will be eligible for senior citizen allotments provided by the NII. The new law is an amalgam of proposals submitted by MKs from the coalition and opposition.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud ) spoke from the Knesset rostrum after the law was approved, and delivered sharp criticism. "The Knesset has moved backward, at variance with economic and employment logic," Steinitz declared. "This is a victory for populism over common sense. This is not the sort of Knesset vote that allows us to preserve accomplishments of economic growth and low unemployment rates. I am not party to the populist spree that occurred here a few moments ago."

MK Dalia Itzik (Kadima ), one of the law's sponsors, stated on Monday that "this is a supremely important achievement for women in the State of Israel. From today, every woman who works until the age of 62 is free to choose her retirement and pension option."

Itzik described this as her most important triumph in her years as a parliamentarian. Another co-sponsor of the bill, Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On, described the law's passage as a "major triumph for women."