Fri, Jul 01, 2016 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

A flat rate pension

Last week’s meeting of the National Pension Reform Committee ended in discord after some participants left the meeting in protest.

Obviously, it is difficult to come up with policy solutions that satisfies everyone. It is not really necessary to gather people from all sectors to participate in the committee, because if its decisions do not protect the interests of certain professions, we can be absolutely certain that those people will launch a protest.

This means that rational consideration of the issue would not be easy and that it might be difficult to form a consensus on pension reform.

However, here is a suggestion: Ask the legislature to draft new legislation and ask them to stick to the following points.

First, pensions should cover basic living expenses, so in the interests of maintaining social harmony and avoiding conflict between different groups, each person should receive the same amount, regardless of their profession.

Second, based on the financial status of the pension insurance for each profession, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) should look at national income and consumer costs as it calculates a basis for pension payments.

Third, the number of military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers that receive high pension payments must be decreased annually, and a time limit of five years should be set for integrating everyone into the national pension system as above.

For example, someone who receives NT$80,000 per month should have their payments reduced to NT$70,000 the first year, and then that should be reduced by another NT$10,000 each year, so that after five years, their pension is reduced to NT$30,000 (if that is the figure calculated by the DGBAS).

Fourth, retired military personnel and government employees who do not receive NT$30,000 should have their payments increased over a five-year period until they receive NT$30,000 per month.

Fifth, based on financial situation and consumer costs, possible adjustments to the pension payment should be discussed annually.

Sixth, passing such legislation through a third legislative reading would display the government’s administrative efficiency, and it would be very likely to be accepted by the general public.

Luo Wen-ching

Taipei

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