IDF Pensions, Salaries Way Above National Average

YERUSHALAYIM -

The IDF is five times more generous with officers pensions than the government is with the average civil service employee, Globes reported Wednesday, citing an official report.

The Ministry of Finance Director of Salary and Employment Agreements Kobi Bar-Nathan found that the military has not been following up on a prior commitment to reducing pension payments to retired security force personnel.

Teachers receive an average pension of NIS 7,900 per month and health system and government ministry employees receive an average NIS 8,800 per month, IDF non-commissioned officers (NCO) receive an average monthly pension of NIS 15,200 and IDF officers receive an average monthly pension of NIS 19,400.

The differential is further magnified by the average retirement ages: 45 for the average IDF veteran; 63 for the average state employee. So while the average value of pensions paid out for state employees is NIS 1.7 million, IDF NCOs receive NIS 5.9 million and IDF officers receive NIS 8.8 million.

The finance ministry also disclosed on Wednesday that salaries for IDF officers on active duty were also way above their civilian counterparts.

The chief of the General Staff made a gross salary of NIS 99,095 monthly in 2020, according to the report.

On average, soldiers in the IDF made between NIS 9,211 and NIS 24,971, depending on rank; officers made between NIS 10,173 and NIS 70,042, the latter amount going to generals; and police superintendents made NIS 60,319, with high-ranking prison service staff (those holding the rank of “Gondar”) making NIS 59,350.

According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average salary in Israel in 2020 was approximately NIS 11,580.

Bar-Natan commented:

“The data presented in the report indicate that wages in the defense system are high relative to the average wage in the economy, that wage and pension expenditures are a major part of the entities’ expenditures, and that there are very high wage gaps between the young who serve and veterans. We recognize the need to retain good people, but at the same time disagree on the way to achieve this.”

The IDF responded, saying that there is no basis for comparison: “The strength of the IDF lies in the quality of its personnel. The nature of service in the IDF is unique and not comparable to the business and public economy. In order to keep the best and most suitable soldiers and offices in its ranks, who work day and night for the security of the State of Israel, the IDF is required to give adequate and fair payment to those who serve, and to encourage their stay after the first mandatory years.”