Bill Proposed to Prevent Forced Retirement

YERUSHALAYIM -

A bill to allow men to stay on at their jobs beyond the standard retirement age of 67 has been introduced in the Knesset, Globes reported on Sunday.

Provided that the worker is medically fit to continue at his position, the employer will not be able to fire him simply because he has reached retirement age.

The employee would be entitled ask for another job, while the employer would be obligated to make an honest effort to allow for the adjustment. The employee is also entitled to work part time for a lower salary, and will be entitled to a reduced pension accordingly.

The proposal has the support of both the coalition chairman MK David Bittan (Likud) and the opposition coordinator, making passage likely.

While the National Labor Court ruled in 2012 that age alone is not sufficient cause for termination, and a reason beyond the employee’s reaching pension age must be given, after conducting a hearing in the matter, it was widely believed that the ruling is often flouted, and that the new law will improve the options of those reaching retirement age.

The Ministry of Finance opposes the law, on the grounds that the growing number of retirement-age people in the work force is making it hard for young people to find employment.

However, Bittan and co-sponsor MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Camp) cite the findings of the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research that a higher employment rate among older people does not harm opportunities for younger applicants.

The retirement age for women, meanwhile, remains at 62, after the Finance Committee rejected a proposal to raise it to 64 last July.