Government bodies to consult experts on pension issue

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - Page 14

The Financial Supervisory Commission and the Council of Labor Affairs are to hold regular meetings with academics and experts to draft measures that would give workers more autonomy in shaping their pension plans.

The two government agencies aim to wrap up discussions by the end of the year after setting up a task force last week devoted to improving the financial conditions of the nation’s employees, the commission said yesterday.

The undertaking would encourage workers to save more for retirement and help expand the local capital market, the commission said.

At present, employers are required to set aside pension savings for their employees, while individual workers can volunteer to put an extra 6 percent of their monthly wage, which is exempt from personal income tax, toward their pension.

About 330,000 workers save by themselves, but have no say on where the Labor Pension Fund puts their savings.

The task force envisions a scheme that would allow workers to choose investment tools from reputable asset managers, the commission said. A company’s capital adequacy levels, coverage ratios, risk control mechanisms and asset management records, among other things, may all be used to judge the qualifications of reputable asset managers, the commission said.

Separately, the commission yesterday approved plans by Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and its banking subsidiary Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) to buy an 80 percent stake in China’s First Sino Bank (華一銀行).

In December last year, Fubon announced it had struck the 5.65 billion yuan (US$905 million) deal with Shanghai-based First Sino Bank (華一銀行) as part of its expansion into China. The deal will offer Fubon 14 banking branches and outlets in first-tier Chinese cities in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim.