Women’s Retirement Age in Israel to Remain Fixed at 62

Debate on the issue has been postponed until next year, even though it was supposed to have been resolved by the end of 2016

File photo: Women at work at a textile factory in Kiryat Ata
Zoltan Kluger/GPO

The Knesset Finance Committee scrapped a provision on Monday that would have automatically increased the retirement age for women from 62 to 64. Instead, it deferred any further action on the matter until next year.

The committee approved legislation that now requires the final votes on second and third reading by the full parliament that would require the finance minister to submit recommendations on the issue to the committee by November 15, after which the committee would make a decision by February 15. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has not stated a clear position on changing the retirement age, despite a law that required him to submit recommendations to the Finance Committee on the subject by the end of 2016.

The retirement age for men is 67. The retirement age for women, at which point they become entitled to retirement benefits, had been due to be raised to 64 as of January 1, but the Finance Committee deferred the date to June 30. Appearing before the committee, Yair Kochavi, representing the so-called old pension funds, which predate pension reform, claimed that the failure to raise the retirement age for women to 64 would increase pension costs by 4.8 billion shekels ($1.4 billion). The committee members expressed anger, however, that Kochavi had not provided documentation backing up the figure.