Fri, Jan 27, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Majority backs pension reform

POPULAR POLICY:A Democratic Progressive Party source said that the survey also showed that Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating had increased on the back of the refroms

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party spokesman Yang Chia-liang yesterday points to a graph during a news conference in Taipei at which the results of a poll conducted by the party about pension reform were released.

Photo: CNA

A majority of the public hopes that pension reform can be completed by the end of this year, with policies put forward by the Pension Reform Committee garnering widespread support from public and private-sector workers younger than 40, the results of a survey released yesterday by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) found.

Overall, 70.4 percent of respondents said that they want pension reform to be accomplished before next year, while 25.9 percent stated the opposite view.

However, when broken down into private-sector workers and public-sector workers, only 44.2 percent of public-sector workers were in favor of the reform, while 55.8 percent were against it, while 72.5 percent of private-sector workers supported reform, as opposed to 25.1 percent against.

Public-sector workers were more supportive of forming a “sustainable pension system that the government can afford that ensures all present and future retirees would receive their pensions,” with 88 percent of them responding positively to the idea, compared with the 86.8 percent registered by private-sector workers, the results showed.

A majority of private-sector workers and public-sector workers, 90.3 percent and 77.2 percent respectively, said they would like the pension system to be reviewed every five or 10 years to ensure that it is financially sound, while 19.7 percent of public-sector workers and 8 percent of private-sector workers had the contrary opinion, the survey found.

The proposed “transferable pension” system, which allows the pensions private-sector workers have accrued to be added to the amount of time they serve as a public servant, if they make such a transition, similarly won nonpartisan support from both private-sector workers and public-sector workers, registering support ratings of 87 percent and 89.6 percent respectively, the poll showed.

Categorized by age group, about 70 percent of public-sector workers under 40 expressed approval of the policies put forward by the committee so far, the results showed.

They include plans to gradually increase the labor insurance premium from 12 percent to 18 percent to prevent the pension system from going bankrupt, and to gradually phase out the 18 percent preferential savings interest rate enjoyed by public-sector workers hired before 1995.

Asked how the government would address detractors of pension reform, DPP spokesman Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍) said that it would focus on debunking rumors and erroneous information being disseminated on social media to boost the public’s confidence in reform.

A DPP source said that the survey also showed growing support for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) after her administration had laid out its pension reforms.

The party’s latest survey found that Tsai had an approval rating of 43.9 percent after a national convention on pension reform.

The survey, conducted among Taiwanese aged at least 20, collected 1,009 valid samples nationwide, with a 95 percent confidence level and a 3.1 percent margin of error.

Additional reporting by CNA

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