Tue, Nov 06, 2012 - Page 8 News List

Social insurance reform needed

By James Lin 林奇璋

However, social insurance has been divided into military personnel, civil servant, public school teacher, worker, farmer, national and other insurance programs.

Since the government guarantees the pensions for government employees, does that makes this insurance for the privileged classes?

Again, the government has emphasized that it is doing so just because it is their employer. Such “technical statements” from our fiscal authorities make no sense, because they violate public values and the spirit of social insurance.

On Oct. 23, Premier Sean Chen promised that the government would amend the law to build a sound labor insurance system, and that it would be the guarantor of last resort for the labor pension. This is a step in the right direction.

Whether the problem was caused by past government officials wanting to benefit themselves or is a result of design flaws, the different insurance programs might go into bankruptcy one after another over the next 15 years. Without reform, the government employee and laborer insurance programs will have no future. Some portray the former as expensive “beef noodles” and the latter as cheap “plain noodles.”

However, none of us will have anything to eat by that time. Co-existence and mutual prosperity are crucial to Taiwan. Any distortion and abuse of social resources must not last for too long.

Now, it is time to integrate the different social insurance programs into one system that offers income redistribution.

James Lin is an actuary.

Translated By Eddy Chang

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