Tue, Jan 29, 2013 - Page 1 News List

DPP waiting to unveil pension plan

CONTENTIOUS:An opinion poll published yesterday revealed that most respondents supported lowering the preferential interest rate for retired civil servants

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Peter Wang convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, wearing a mask of Examination Yuan President John Kuan’s face, shakes a mock halberd during a protest in Taipei yesterday against proposed amendments that would maintain a preferential rate for state employees’ pensions.

Photo: Lin Shu-hui, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has completed its pension reform plan and is ready to unveil it once the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration announces its plan, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said yesterday.

Wang briefed the media after a meeting convened by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) that included party officials and legislators.

“It is time for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to present his suggestions for pension reform as he pledged. Since Ma refused the DPP’s proposal of a national affairs conference, we have decided that we will not unveil our plan until Ma announces his,” Wang said.

“The government has been leaking bits of information on its proposal to the media to gauge the public’s reaction to the plan and we think that this is irresponsible,” Wang added.

Lin Wan-i (林萬億), executive director of the DPP’s think tank and the main author of the party’s pension reform proposal, gave further details.

Lin laid out five principles of the DPP’s proposal: financial sustainability, closing the pension payments gap between professions, fair and reasonable premiums, integration of various programs and expanding pension coverage.

“We care about two things most: fairness and sustainability,” Lin said.

Asked why the DPP would not announce its proposal immediately, Lin said the public would be able to compare and discuss the two proposals clause by clause and item by item if the two proposals were released together.

Meanwhile, an opinion poll on a variety of social issues published yesterday found that the majority of the respondents supported lowering the preferential interest rate for retired civil servants pensions and lacked confidence about the government’s pension reform plan, which will be announced this week.

The survey, conducted by Taiwan Thinktank, found that only 6 percent of respondents said the 18 percent preferential interest rate should be maintained.

The poll found that 23.9 percent said the rate should be lowered to between 6 and 8 percent; 19.5 percent said the rate should be between 3 and 5 percent; 18.3 percent favored 1 to 2 percent and 17.9 percent said it should be 9 to 11 percent.

Of those polled, 8.8 percent of respondents supported a rate of 12 percent, as recommended by the Examination Yuan.

On the pension reform plan to be announced by the Ma administration, 68.4 percent of respondents said they lacked confidence in it.

The survey also found that 75.9 percent of respondents supported determining the future of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant by a national referendum, 59.9 percent said that the construction of the plant should be suspended and 72.1 percent supported the DPP’s initiative of a “nuclear-free homeland.”

On the supplementary health insurance premiums that took effect this month, 67.8 percent of those polled said the mechanism was unfair, while 48.6 percent of those who have paid the premiums said the measure increased their financial burdens.

On cross-strait affairs, two out of three, or 67.2 percent, did not support having more Chinese students in Taiwan, with only 26.8 percent in favor.

Related questions yielded similar results, with 69 percent against allowing Chinese students to work part-time and 67 percent not in favor of including Chinese students in National Health Insurance coverage.

On domestic political issues, 64.2 percent of respondents said Ma should not seek re-election as KMT chairman. New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) were tapped as favorites to seek the post, garnering almost identical support rates — Chu at 27.3 percent and Wang at 27.4 percent.

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