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The cabinet voted yesterday to support an amendment that would prevent the retirement age for women from being raised to 64. The current legal retirement age for women is 62. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided to adopt the amendment, which was submitted by MK Haim Oron (Meretz ).

Under existing legislation, women's retirement age will automatically rise at the end of this year.

Article 9 of the 2004 Retirement Age Law sets out a process for examining the issue of raising the retirement age for women, specifying milestones for each step in the process. The law stipulates that if any one of the various deadlines is not met - from the creation of a public committee that includes representatives from labor, the employees and the government; to the June 30, 2011 deadline for submitting its recommendations to the finance minister; to the September 30 deadline for the minister to submit his conclusions to the Knesset Finance Committee, and so on - the retirement age for women will automatically rise from 62 to 64.

Now, over six years after the passage of the law and three months before the committee is due to submit its recommendations, the panel has not even been established.

Agriculture Minister Orit Noked told the ministerial committee yesterday that the issue is too complex and important to be allowed to change automatically, complaining that Article 9 of the law "was passed in the dead of night and without genuine deliberation."

Kadima Knesset whip MK Dalia Itzik asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel the creation of the public committee, saying, "The time has come to stop these committees from controlling our lives. There is no need to form a committee for every issue, certainly not in the case of women's retirement age, where the simple and correct solution is to preserve the existing situation."