Almost three-quarters of the public thinks the nation’s pension system needs to be reformed, and almost as many like the idea of immediate reforms, a poll released yesterday by the Taiwan Style Foundation found.
The foundation said that 70.3 percent of respondents thought reforms were needed and 64.9 percent backed immediate reforms, while 14.1 percent of respondents said the pension system does not need to be reformed
Even more respondents (73.2 percent) voiced support for the government’s goal of “keeping the pension funds afloat for at least a generation,” while 63 percent said they agreed with the government’s aim to ensure a pension system that can afford stable and long-term payments, the foundation said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Just about the same number (63.3 percent) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has the resolve to carry out reforms, but 23 percent of respondents thought otherwise, the survey found.
The government’s proposal to raise the pension contributions of employees from 12 percent to 18 percent was supported by 54 percent of respondents, while 35.5 percent disagreed with the idea, and 61.8 percent backed a formula based on the average salary of the final 15 years of employment, while 22.1 percent disapproved, the foundation said.
Analyzing the results along occupational lines, 84.6 percent of public-sector employees — military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers — and 70.8 percent of private-sector workers said the pension system needs to be revised.
Among public-sector employees, 53.8 percent support the phase-out of the 18 percent preferential interest rate on retired civil servants’ savings, but less than 50 percent supported a “pension ceiling” or increasing their pension contributions, the foundation said.
The survey found there is room for improvement in explaining the government’s proposals: 58.4 percent of respondent said they understood the reform plans, but 40.2 percent of respondents said they did not, and while 71.1 percent said they knew the pensions fund might go bankrupt between 2027 and 2031, only 42.9 percent knew that the government’s proposals would delay bankruptcy to between 2036 and 2044.
The survey found strong support for proposals to scrap job-specific pension privileges, with 79.3 percent of respondents supporting the cancelation of the 18 percent preferential interest rate and 79.4 percent backing adjusting the 13 percent interest rate for former employees of state-run banks.
When asked about retired civil servants who were able to count the time they worked as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials toward their total years in service, more than three-quarters (77.3 percent) of respondents supported such pension privileges, and 85.6 percent backed canceling the preferential interest rates for political appointees who served as civil servants, and 83.4 percent backed reducing the income replacement ratios for judicial officers.
“Contrary to what was thought to be massive objections to the government’s pension reform proposals, the survey found a mostly positive reaction, especially for potentially contentious issues such as raising pension contributions and the phase-out of preferential interest rates,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said.
“The survey indicates an emerging divergence among vested interest groups,” Citizen’s Congress Watch executive director Chen Chien-fu (陳建甫) said.
“Public-sector employees used to be seen as a unified group that could not be bent, but disagreements are beginning to surface within this group, especially along generational lines,” Chen said.
The government released its pension reform proposals on Thursday last week and the survey was conducted on Thursday and Friday.
A total of 1,018 valid samples were collected and the survey has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.07 percentage points.
The domestically designed Teng Yun 2 drone passed development milestones over the weekend, flying for more than 10 hours straight and circling Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in the longest flight of an indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicle. Developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider” (騰雲二型), recorded its longest flight yet over the weekend, after a three-hour test flight last month, followed by five and seven-hour stretches in the air. The Teng Yun 2 No. 1812 departed from Chiashan Air Base in Hualien County at 6:46pm on Saturday and flew on a
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it is monitoring Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship movements near Taiwan, after the Japanese Ministry of Defense disclosed that Chinese vessels made a rare voyage between Yilan County and Japan’s Yonaguni. The Japanese ministry on Wednesday said that two Chinese navy ships on Tuesday diverted from their usual route of entering the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait and for the first time traveled there between Yilan and Yonaguni. The Japan Self-Defense Forces said that it picked up the presence of China’s Type-056A Jiangdao-class corvette 220km north of Yonaguni at 9am on Tuesday. The
A slew of new measures are to take effect on Friday, including nationwide bring-your-own-cup discounts. The new rule requires chain beverage shops to offer discounts of at least NT$5 (US$0.17) to customers who bring their own cups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. The policy would apply to more than 50,000 chain retail locations, including beverage shops, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. It aims to cut down on waste from single-use plastic cups, more than 2.2 billion of which were used in Taiwan in 2020, the agency said. For convenience, the EPA said it has asked retailers to display signs stating how